London. Marco Gianni. Write this name, and a clean, serious and smiling boy’s face, always and incredibly smiling. “Yeah it’s true. I smile because I’m happy. And in fact, after this victory I’ll smile forever, thanking even those who helped me along this path”, during an online conversation The young and talented Italian jockey says “Repubblica” participated, chaired the Champions Series organized by Great British Racing & British and chaired by Cornelius Lisaght, a renowned English journalist and for 30 years the BBC’s equestrian correspondent.
Ghiani, the jockey who hails from Sardinia and charmed the United Kingdom
Born 7 February 22 years ago in Oristano, Sardinian Like two other Italians with enormous success in English horse racing such as Andrea Atzeni and especially Lanfranco “Frankie” Dettori, Marco Gianni is already in his footsteps. “Perhaps we have more horses in Sardinia than cars”, he explains in his native but correct English, “yet there was no one in my family who was passionate about horses, other than my great-grandfather who rode one Were”. Now, after 88 victories, he was named the “Apprentice Champion” at the legendary Ascot race a few weeks ago. Literally an “Apprentice” champion jockey, in practice the British equestrian world has one of the biggest youth prodigies.
But how did Gianni get here in Suffolk? Its history is to be read. “My parents have a restaurant in Sardinia”, he says, “I started helping out in restaurants at the age of 10, because I didn’t want to study. Then, at the age of 15, I took up permanent jobs. Worked on premise even though my father opposed it because he had other aspirations for me. I kneaded the pizza, served it at the table, did home delivery too. My favorite pizza? Ham, Parmesan and Rocket”.
So why did Ghiani become fond of horses? “I was 5 years old and I started at the Sartiglia Horse Festival”, a nearly 500-year-old tradition on the island. Ten years later, during the Sartiglia race, Marco slips from his horse and falls. “But I managed to get back up immediately to applause. Then Italian champion jockey Dario Vergiu sent him a message: “You have what it takes to be a jockey.” “There”, remarks Gianni, “I understand that That would be my destiny. A year later, he moved to Newmarket, England, where he attended the British Racing School, followed by an institution such as Stuart Williams.
“The first years in England were difficult”, confesses Marko, “I could not communicate, I did not know anything about the country, I missed my family, friends. The only thing I could say was is” My name is Marco “. Then at a certain point I wanted to go, I wanted to go home to Sardinia. But Luca Kamani”, his old teacher until 2018, “convinced me to stay”.
Confirms his current manager, Michael Hills, who has been following him for three years now. “He’s also improved a lot in the language, and he deserves all the success he’s getting. The results speak for him. Marco has sensitive but very strong hands. It looks to me like Popeye. That’s the new Frankie Dettori.” may become, there’s no reason he can’t make it to the top”. “Marco”, underlines Hills, “has a great talent, a great work culture, but above all an amazing attitude: he Always smile even when you fall. That smile of hers always helps her, even when things get complicated”.
“Winning at the Royal Ascot … I didn’t even want to get off the horse”, explains Gianni, always enlightened by the inevitable smile, “I communicate with the horses”. That means you’re talking to us? Another horse whimpers? “With many of them, yes, because it gives me more protection. And my son, who is just a few months old, is also growing well. Together we have already ridden a pony. Time to time. It’s better to speed up”.
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