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Rispoli the benefactor as Barzalona booted from Brigantin

October 14, 2012

http://www.justhorseracing.com.au/news/australian-racing/rispoli-the-benefactor-as-barzalona-booted-from-brigantin/167688

Italian jockey Umberto Rispoli has been named as the new jockey for Brigantin.

The shock move came as the owners announced that young superstar rider Mickael Barzalona would not ride the horse due to a busy schedule in Europe.

Barzalona, a winner of the Epsom Derby, Dubai World Cup and English St Leger within the last few months, is one of three riders contracted to the world’s largest operation Godolphin.

Racing Victoria’s Leigh Jordon said the decision was made by Brigantin’s trainer Andre Fabre.

“Andre wanted a jockey that could commit to both the Geelong and Melbourne Cups,” Jordon told Racing Victoria’s Ben Asgari.

“With his heavy commitments in Europe, Michael wasn’t able to commit to both rides.”

One owner, speaking to Just Horse Racing, confirmed the switch, saying it was in the horse’s best interests to have the same jockey at both Geelong and Flemington.

He said the horse would definitely go to Geelong, but “it will be in the Melbourne Cup that we will see the best of Brigantin.”

Rispoli only began his riding career in 2005, completing his apprenticeship in 2010. While still an apprentice, he was Italy’s champion jockey twice, in 2009 and 2010.

He broke the Italian record for the most winners in a season, riding 245 winners in 2009. The previous record was 229, set by Gianfranco Dettori – father of champion jockey Frankie – in 1982.

Rispoli moved to Hong Kong in 2011, but found it tough initially. It took him 76 rides in Hong Kong before he won his first race, a drought the jockey would have seldom experienced.

Once he found form, however, he improved out of sight. His biggest success came in the Queen Elizabeth II Cup at Sha Tin in April, when he rode the Japanese horse Rulership to a decisive victory.

He is currently back riding in Europe, with another Hong Kong stint on the agenda later this year.

Brigantin remains on the fourth line of betting for the Melbourne Cup, a $17 chance with TAB Sportsbet.

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