Tivaci has been awarded the 2016 CS Hayes Stakes on protest after Racing Victoria stewards ruled that Palentino caused interference to his rival at the 900 metre mark, which cost Tivaci the race.
Racing Victoria Chief Steward Terry Bailey ruled that Palentino had pushed Tivaci to an undesirable part of the track and forced the High Chaparral colt to make a much wider run than he was entitled to.
Palentino will go into the 2016 Australian Guineas contender as a leading contender after he scored a fighting victory in a strangely run CS Hayes Stakes at Flemington this afternoon.
Jockey Mark Zahra settled Palentino in a comfortable midfield position in the early stages of the race, but the colt started to over race when the pace was taken out of the race by Dwayne Dunn on Top Me Up.
Palentino looked as though he was going to finish third in the CS Hayes Stakes and Tulsa got more than a head in front of his rival at the 150 metre mark, but Palentino fought back in the final stages to record a narrow win.
Zahra admitted after the race that not everything went to plan for Palentino in the CS Hayes Stakes, but he was delighted with the toughness that the three-year-old showed in the final stages of the race.
“They slowed right up midrace and I got into all sorts of trouble because this horse likes to find his rhythm,” Zahra said.
“They slowed up and it just had him over racing a little bit and I thought they had me cold in the straight, but it was a great effort for him to fight back and beat them.
“Tivaci got a good neck on me and you just love the way he pinned his ears back and got it on the line.
“He still needs to learn just to calm down a little bit, but it was a great win.”
Darren Weir admitted after the race that he thought Palentino was going to get beaten, but he was delighted with the way that the Teofilo colt fought back to take out the 2016 CS Hayes Stakes.
Weir confirmed that Palentino will press on to the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) and he is confident that the three-year-old will produce an even stronger effort in the stallion making race.
“The first 600 metres of the race I couldn’t be any happier because we planned to be one off the fence three back and he got into that spot.
“He was just relaxing beautiful, but Craig Newitt took off around him three deep and that fired the horse up and things didn’t go ideal from then.
“Halfway down the straight you thought he was in trouble, but he dug deep late and it was a really good win in the end,
“At the 200 metre mark he had to dig deep and he was in for the fight and he stuck his head out at the right time.
“I was a bit worried at the 200 and I thought he was going to run a battling third, but he got going late and it was a real courageous win in the end.
“He will benefit again from today because he probably didn’t have a hard enough run in the Manfred.”
Tivaci looked like the winner before he died on his run late and Tulsa made up plenty of ground late, while Lizard Island was the unlucky runner in the race and hit the line strongly to finish fourth.