Meandre: connections plan to appeal against the stewards' decisionPICTURE: HKJC
Monsieur handed Group 1 as first two disqualified
VIF MONSIEUR (Jens Hirschberger/Koen Clijmans) was sensationally awarded the Group 1 Preis von Europa at Cologne on Sunday after both winner Meandre and second Empoli were demoted for interference.
Meandre surged to the lead up the home straight under jockey Adrie de Vries in the 1m4f contest but in the process Earl Of Tinsdal was squeezed and stopped in his run inside the final two furlongs.
Meandre had to fight hard to hold off the sustained challenge of Empoli in the final furlong but clung on to win. Vif Monsieur finished third with Earl Of Tinsdal fourth.
However, celebrations were short-lived for connections of Meandre as the stewards' called an inquiry into the interference, the result of which saw the first two home relegated to third and fourth.
Jockey Koen Clijmans told the stewards that he felt his was still going well on eventual winner Vif Monsieur when the interference took place.
De Vries and Andreas Starke, who was aboard third-home Empoli, both recived one-day bans.
Connections of Meandre said that they plan to appeal against the findings of the stewards and in the meantime they plan to have a tilt at the Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe for which he is a 40-1 chance.
The demotion of both the first and second in a race is an unusual occurrence although the first three home were disqualified and placed behind the fourth home, Brook, in the 1974 Queen Anne at Royal Ascot when the race was a Group 3.