Jacquinot claims Group 1 C.F. Orr Stakes through protest

Jacquinot & Gentleman Roy fight to the line in the Group 1 C.F. Orr Stakes. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Racing Photos)

The first Group 1 on the 2023 racing calendar will be remembered for a long time with the result of the C.F. Orr Stakes decided in the stewards room.

The Ben & JD Hayes-trained Gentleman Roy had been rated a treat up in front by Mark Zahra, gripping on to be the first past the winning post ahead of the Mick Price & Michael Kent Jnr-trained Jacquinot.

However, connections of Jacquinot were quick to throw in a protest with Gentleman Roy seemingly shifting into the line of Jacquinot within the final 100m.

It was obvious for all to see that Mark Zahra had something to worry about following his post-race interview with Racing.com, with the Melbourne Cup-winning jockey brushing past connections to check the footage.

2023 C.F. Orr Stakes Replay

As Zahra urged Gentleman Roy towards the winning post, it was clear that Gentleman Roy had made significant impact to Jacquinot’s line, which would further impact Nugget, I’m Thunderstruck and Mr Brightside who finished third, fourth and fifth respectively.

Following close to 20 minutes worth of deliberations, Racing Victoria Stewards made the decision to adjust the placings, deeming that without interference Jacquinot would have gone on to win the race, overturning the short-head margin.

The win handed Jacquinot his second Group 1 victory, having claimed the Group 1 Golden Rose during the spring, also over 1400m.

Following the upheld protest, Mick Price & Michael Kent Jnr were clearly over the moon with the valuable three-year-old colt claiming more Group 1 glory.

“Feel sorry for connections of the other horse, but as Damian (Lane) said, he definitely should have won and is the right result,” said Michael Kent Jnr.

“Now we work out whether we go to the Futurity (Group 1, 1400m) or what we do.

Mick Price would go on to confirm that Jacquinot’s next start would be in the Group 1 Futurity Stakes.

“That’s the plan, he’ll go to the Futurity, same course, same distance.”

Following the Group 1 result, the three-year-old colt is now an equal favourite for the Futurity Stakes on February 25, sharing a $6 quote with Alligator Blood and I’m Thunderstruck with online bookmakers.

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1 year ago

Protest upheld ok. Where is the consistency when Anamoe was inferred with in the Cox plate a couple of years ago. That was more severe interference in my mind. I think Roy shifted ground but I have seen worse interference dismissed on multiple occasions