Photo Finish for The Palio. The Giraffe beats The Snail by a neck for the surprise victory

The first leg of the Palio di Siena is now officially in the books and oh what a surprise it was!


The Giraffa (Giraffe) contrada pulled out an amazing win at the finish. Jockey Giovanni Atzeni, aboard Tale e Quale, passed the Chiocciola (The Snail) contrada’s horse Violenta da Clodia at the finish. Violenta da Clodia is a 6 year-old mare who was ridden by jockey Jonatan Bartoletti.

The winning horse, Tale e Quale (which means Spitting Image in English), was making just his second Palio start. I had this horse pegged somewhere around 20/1 to 30/1 odds and I was being generous mainly due to his jockey Atzeni who had won five Palios previously. Otherwise I would have given the horse about 50/1 odds.

This turned out to be a jockey’s race and jockey Giovanni Atzeni (nicknamed Tittia) picks up his sixth Palio victory. Atzeni’s last Palio victory came in August 2015 ridding for the Selva contrada. The irony of this race is that Atzeni finished second aboard Violenta da Clodia in the last Palio for the Nicchio contrada.

Overall, this one of the safest palios I have witnessed with only one horse losing his jockey and no big pile up in St Martin’s Curve.

The order of finish (Contrada/Horse/Jockey)

  1. Giraffa – Tale e Quale – Giovanni Atzeni
  2. Chiocciola – Violenta da Clodia – Jonatan Bartoletti
  3. Drago – Remorex – Federico Arri
  4. Bruco – Solu Tue Due – Andrea Mari

The second leg of the Palio di Siena is scheduled for August 16th. I plan to cover and handicap that race as well.

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