A JOCKEY who raced at Ascot has been hit with the maximum 40-day ban and fine for a shocking post-race fight that left a rival in a ‘pool of blood’.
Claudio Colombi was allegedly punched in the face by famed Italian rider Fabio Branca.
Branca is one of Italy’s top jockeys and has raced at Ascot[/caption]
Colombi was reported to have suffered ‘deep cuts’ and underwent tests for possible facial fractures.
Police were called to Campannelle racecourse in Rome, where Branca was, according to equos.it, led away by cops as Colombi was taken to San Giovanni hospital.
Branca – who raced in Ascot’s King George Weekend in July 2015 – originally denied hitting Colombi, but said they did grapple on the ground in the shocking bust-up last Friday.
He told Corriere dello Sport: “I didn’t attack him or hit him in any way. There was a fight in which we ended up on the ground.”
However, the same publication carried the official stewards’ report on Monday which said Branca had now been charged by racing chiefs after he apparently admitted punching Colombi.
Racing bosses officially hit Branca with a 40-day ban and £2700 fine – the maximum allowed under the rules.
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The official stewards’ report read: “Branca confirmed that he had hit his colleague Colombi in the face in the jockeys’ room, fully recognising his responsibility for what happened.”
Colombi reported too that he had been ‘punched in the face by his colleague’ leaving him ‘lying on the ground in a pool of blood’.
Other jockeys at the meeting missed the incident but returned to the weighing room to find Colombi had lost a ‘copious amount of blood’.
It is believed the scrap happened after a disagreement over something that happened in the second race, where Colombi finished third on Haven Park and Branca fourth on Ifrachy.
This is far from the first time jockeys have come to blows.
One of the most famous was the unbelievable Breeders’ Cup brawl where one rider threatened to ‘kill’ another in 2010.
Top jockey in America Irad Ortiz Jr was fined £700 for punching rival Paco Lopez in the face three times earlier this year.
While another shocking video showed police rushing in to break up two jockeys fighting in this changing room brawl.