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Stefano Cherchi dies aged 23 after fall in Australia

Stefano Cherchi, who rode over 100 winners in the UK, has died as the result of injuries sustained in a fall in Australia last month.

The 23-year-old from Sardinia was riding at Canberra on 20 March when his mount Hasime fell in the Affinity Electrical Technologies Plate, with two other riders escaping serious injury after being unseated in the incident.

Cherchi received medical treatment at the track before being transferred to hospital and was found to have sustained a head injury and internal bleeding.

The New South Wales Jockeys Association posted on X on Wednesday: "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."

Cherchi partnered 38 winners for trainer Marco Botti while in the UK before switching to Australia earlier in the year.

Paying tribute to Cherchi, Botti said: "His charm and his way of behaving with people, he was such a nice guy. For me, he was a little bit like a son, to be honest.

"When he left for Australia, we had a chat and in a way I was happy he was going to try to have a career there. He had a couple of winners recently and things were just picking up and then this happened. Life is tough.

"For us he was always a good judge in the mornings. He rode some of our nice horses and his feedback was incredible. As a jockey, he just needed to get on good horses and he would have proven himself.

"Away from the saddle, he has always been a really good guy. We were texting each other through the winter and I was hoping he would come back in the spring.

"It's very sad for the family and all his friends. It’s like we lost a member of the family."