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This years Palio winner

This years Palio d'Asti was run yesterday afternoon in the historic Piazza Alfieri in the centre of Asti. There was some trepidation as it rained for 3 days before the event, and although the front lingered, the rain stopped on the day, and in fact the overcast weather was perfect for the medieval parade and bare-back horse race, not so hot as previous years.

The race was run in 3 "batterie" or heats, the first 3 horses from each going to the final. Before the final we were treated to a display of flag-tossing by the local teams, Asti's flag-tossers are quite famous now having been featured at the opening and closing ceremonies of the winter olympics.
Amazingly there were no false starts on the final, an all time first, and the winner was Santa Maria Nouva, for the second year in a row.

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