The Palio is sublimated warfare. This is how the proud city quarters, each delegating a horse with jockey to defend their honour, experience the famous annual horse races in the large square of Siena, Italy. The youngsters of the Civetta quarter have never had the chance to taste the sweet victory; the last triumph dates back to 1979. A 92-year-old man, who fought on the losing side in two World Wars and saw his quarter win eight Palios, implores the Holy Madonna to grant him one last victory. In the Castellare meeting place, chapel and stable of Civetta he points at 35 nails in the wall, one for each triumph. Five rows of six and one of five: 'If only we could hammer in another. In that case, we will just start a new row'. The stable hand thinks that only an orgasm is in the same league as the release felt after a Palio victory. This year, they seem to have everything going for them. The horse, which has been selected by drawing lots, won last year and the Capitano has roped in a shrewd jockey. It may have cost a bomb, the locals know, but they are really ready for it now. After a festal street banquet, tension rises high in the hour of truth. Will Civetta finally be triumphant again?