The Prestigious Derby Italiano in Rome

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As with many racing events, their roots lie deeply buried in the annals of history, and such is the case when looking at the Derby Italiano. Held in Rome during the month of May, the Derby Italiano has become a horse racing event that is considered to have the same significance and glamour as many of the other premier horse racing events held in countries such as England, Australia, Scotland, the Middle East and South Africa. It is a prestigious international event that will once again be attended by the best horses and thousands of enthusiastic spectators on the 11th of May 2008.

As a Group 1 race, the Derby Italiano was first run in the year 1884 and was exclusive to horses bred in Italy. From 1884 to 1980, horses such as Andreina (the first horse to win the derby), Cloridano (1900), The Oak (1904), Apelle (1926) and Emanuele Filiberto (1930) carved their names into the history of the race. From 1981 the race was opened to horses bred outside Italy and saw top names, such as including Glint of Gold (1981), Welnor (1985), Tommy Way (1986), In a Tiff (1992), Luso (1995), Kallisto (2000) and Awelmarduk (2007), added to the winner’s list.

In January this year a few changes to the race were announced. The race, which had always been run over a distance of 2 400 meters (twelve furlongs), has been changed to a distance of 2 200 meters (eleven furlongs). The date of the meeting was also moved up from the 18th of May to the 11th of May 2008; with the usual purse of $90 000 being increased by twenty five percent.

The race will remain at the Capannelle Racetrack, which covers a staggering 1.6 million square meters and is conveniently located a mere ten kilometers outside Rome. Over and above flat racing, the racecourse accommodates saddle racing and jump racing, and has three well maintained tracks, namely dirt, turf and a track with hurdles. Not only horses have made their way into history here, but breeder Federico Tesio become renowned for breeding twenty-two of the Derby Italiano’s winners, including the majestic Ribot.

This wonderful three year old flat race event will ensure that the racetrack is filled with thousands of anxious spectators and punters, as it is one of the most popular events on the racing calendar in Italy. And with the changes made to the Derby Italiano, it promises to be as thrilling, or even more exciting, than previous years. It is most certainly a racing event that should be attended.