Oca triumphs in August 16, 2023 Palio

On the orders of mossiere Bartolo Ambrosione, the contrade are aligned for the first time in the following order: Tartuca, Bruco, Chiocciola, Oca, Pantera, Aquila, Torre, Drago, Giraffa and Istrice as rincorsa. Immediately after this, the horses are asked to go back outside to ease the tension a bit (and give the fantini a chance to negotiate).

A second alignment, with a lot of nervousness among the horses, especially in the lower and central part between the ropes due to the presence of three rivalries in the first 7 places between the ropes (with Bruco without a rival in the middle) does not improve.

A third alignment follows but with the same scenario: great confusion in the lower and central part and at the top Drago and Giraffa standing in peace at the rope. Again the horses are sent out. At the fifth alignment, a false start follows because the mossiere drops the rope as a precaution.

Sixth alignment, it’s 7:25 PM, and Istrice enters. The starter gives a valid start. Giraffa, followed by Pantera and Bruco made an excellent start. Giraffa arrives in the first San Martino with huge advantage; Tittia already seems to be on his way to his sixth consecutive victory. But Abbasantesa misses a pass leading up to the San Martino and goes straight into the mattresses. End of story for Giraffa.

Pantera immediately takes over the lead with Jonatan Bartoletti, known as Scompiglio. He finishes the first lap with ease and remains in the lead with Bruco and Oca’s scosso well behind. A win seems certain. But in the third and final San Martino the horse slips (a horseshoe was lost on the way) and it is Oca’s scosso, Zio Frac, who takes over the lead. Rival Torre, with Carburo tries to overtake the rival and takes the necessary risk in the last Casato. He tries to take the inside of the bend but falls.

It is Oca’s scosso, ridden at the start of the race by Carlo Sanna, known as Brigante, who wins the August 16 palio. It is a second victory for both Zio Frac and Brigante. Oca immediately wins upon returning to the Piazza after a four-year absence due to suspension and Covid. It is the 66th Palio in history for Oca.