Matt Cumani import wins Banjo Paterson on protest

Matt Cumani trained import Monbaher has won the Banjo Paterson Series Final on protest over Mimi’s Award

Monbaher is having his first Australian preparation but has notched up his second win from four starts this preparation in dramatic fashion, successful on protest after initially crossing the line in second to Mimi’s Award.

In a messy race, Mimi’s Award and Monbaher came out of the pack in the straight to chase Horrifying who kicked for home, Mimi’s Award eventually holding a half-head margin on the line.

Brett Prebble and the connections of Monbaher were quick to fire in a protest for alleged interference in the home straight, with the head-on vision certainly showing Mimi’s Award laying out significantly under pressure and impacting Monbaher’s running line.

Jockey of Mimi’s Award Blaike McDougall pleaded his case, citing Prebble never had to stop riding his mount, but eventually Racing Victoria stewards deemed the interference was sufficient enough to overturn the result and deemed Monbaher the winner of the race.

Trainer Matt Cumani was somewhat bittersweet about the victory after the protest was upheld, saying “it’s a shame to win them like that,” but full of praise for the horse in a messy race.

I’m delighted for the horse, delighted for the owner. He’s been a fantastic horse so far… They did slow it up a little bit which was a bit stop and start which didn’t suit him,” Cumani said.

Jockey Brett Prebble wasn’t completely sold that the protest would be upheld but thought the win had merit.

“I actually didn’t feel it (interference) out there and the owner said to me, ‘are you going to protest?’ He didn’t touch me really as such, but he just kept taking me off my course,” Prebble said.

“I think he’s a horse that’s still learning his trade, he gets a longer distance, and he gets deep ground so this time of year you could see him putting a few wins together.”

Cumani suggested that the Flemington Cup (2800m) in two weeks’ time would be Monbaher’s next run.

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