The Palio. San Domenico wins again, after 17 years
Guglielmino, ridden by Dino Pes, remained in the lead for all five circuits, in an exciting, hard-fought final. Second place went to Legnarello, who had not won anything since 1991.
The “Palio” is not a tired, old custom. Quite the opposite. The commitment to create a historical event that is genuine in the smallest details, the participation of the inhabitants, the tension of the heats, accompanied by the screams of joy and the tears of desperation demonstrate that the Legnano Palio is an essential event in the life of this community. The inhabitants of the borough of San Domenico, who, for 17 years, have had to stand by, and watch others raise the cross skywards, can say a thing or two about it. Well, their patience has been rewarded. For the inhabitants of the borough, the wait is now over, thanks to Dino Pes, who, after five circuits, raised his whip as a sign of victory, and stroked the mane of Guglielmino, a light bay horse, with no particular markings, and yet with a tenacity to win, as though it were his destiny.
In the two heats, there were a few surprises, including a broken nose for Andrea Coghe, the jockey riding for San Martino, who engaged in a “no holds barred” battle against Valter Pusceddu, who was riding for Flora, although neither of them made it to the final. No surprises, as jockeys “are ten assassins”, or at least that is what the people of Siena call them. After the second heat, the leaders of the borough of San Martino expressed their annoyance with two strong symbolic gestures, in response to the harm they felt they had suffered: they removed their banner, and abandoned the stand.
The final move did not last long, aided by the tranquillity of Legnarello, which despite being the starting horse, as it was the fourth to be extracted, remained strangely in line with the others, on the outside. San Domenico, which was raring to go, set off in the lead, and after fighting off the initial attack of Sant’Ambrogio, stayed there, managing to stave off the comebacks of Sant’Erasmo, and the final spurt by the horse of Legnarello, which came fast out of the last bend. It was too late to undermine the sure step of the predestined Guglielmino, even for a horse with the name Deo Volente.