Jockey Stefano Cherchi dies aged 23 two weeks after awful fall left him with head injury and internal bleeding

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JOCKEY Stefano Cherchi has tragically died aged 23 – two weeks after a terrible fall left with a head injury and internal bleeding.

The Sardinian rider, best known in Britain for recording winners under trainer Marco Botti, had been racing in Australia.

Racing is in mourning after it was confirmed jockey Stefano Cherchi had died aged 23PA

Cherchi’s girlfriend Brittany, daughter of iconic Flat jockey Kieren, had flown to Australia to be at his bedside

The Sardinian-born jockey who had over 100 winners in Britain appeared to be loving his new life Down Under, as this, his final photo posted to Instagram, showed

Cherchi was close friends with Frankie Dettori and looked up to him as one of his racing idols

He fell at a meeting in Canberra a fortnight ago and was treated for an hour on track before being moved to hospital.

Legendary rider Kieran Fallon’s daughter Brittany had travelled to Australia to be at her boyfriend’s bedside.

A post from NSW Jockeys confirmed today: “With deep sadness, the Cherchi family have announced their beloved son Stefano passed away peacefully today.

“The family are very grateful for the love, prayers & messages sent by the racing community across the world.”

Just last week the entire racing world, including Brittany’s brother and top jockey Cieren, had asked everyone to pray for good news.

But despite everyone’s best efforts Cherchi, who had over 100 winners in Britain, sadly succumbed to his injuries.

His fall was labelled a ‘freak accident’ by Fallon.

Cherchi was thrown from the saddle when his horse Hasime came down in a one-mile race in the Australian capital.

The shocking incident happened at around halfway when Cherchi’s mount came down and brought down two other runners.

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Both the other jockeys involved were able to walk away with only minor bumps and bruises, while the three horses caught up in the spill were also unscathed.

Cherchi, who moved to England to race as a teenager, looked to be loving his time Down Under, despite being on the other side of the world to his girlfriend.

A photo posted on his Instagram page six weeks ago showed him smiling while riding a horse in the sea.

On his last race before his fatal fall Cherchi recorded a 60-1 winner in a race at Gosford.

He rocketed home on huge outsider Flying Bat, landing a decent £11,000 payday for connections and cementing his reputation as a real up-and-coming rider on the scene.

Sun Racing’s Matt Chapman was among the many who paid tribute to Cherchi.

He wrote on Twitter: “Devastating news that @SC_Cherchi has died after his horror fall. Always had a smile on his face. Loved riding. #rip.”

While his ITV Racing co-presenter Leonna Mayor wrote: “So very sad such a fun-loving person. He will be so sorely missed.”

Jockey Eoin Walsh, who had moved to Australia with Cherchi, said in an emotional post that he wished their relocation ‘had never happened’.

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He wrote: “Back in October last year, Stefano and I spoke about moving over to Australia “f*** it mate, let’s do it”.

“I wish this conversation never happened. The kindest guy I’ve ever met and it’s been an absolute pleasure babysitting you the last few years. I’ll never forget you.”

More to follow.

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