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God Given lands the Premio Lydia Tesio Sisal Matchpoint in Rome to give retiring Newmarket trainer Luca Cumani a 50th Group 1 win

Not all sporting legends get their fairytale ending, but on Sunday Luca Cumani became one of the lucky few.

The Italian, who is based at Bedford House Stables on Newmarket’s Bury Road, recently announced that he will be retiring in December after a 43-year training career.

And he will bow out on a high note after God Given landed the Premio Lydia Tesio Sisal Matchpoint at Capannelle in Rome – now Italy’s only top-level race of the season.

Luca Cumani
Luca Cumani

It secured a 50th Group 1 victory for the 69-year-old, fittingly at the same venue in which he recorded his first back in 1982 when Old Country triumphed in the Derby Italiano.

“I am delighted and it was a very emotional day,” said the Milan-born trainer.

“To have my first Group 1 win in Rome all those years ago and my last there as well, well that is just perfect symmetry.

“It was perfect all round. I am lucky to go out on such a high because few get to enjoy that.

“I must thank my great staff for helping it to happen.”

The victory has also seen the end to God Given’s stint out on the course, with Cumani confirming that the daughter of Nathaniel will head to the breeding barns.

As well as the weekend’s success, the four-year-old won the Group 2 DFS Park Hill Stakes at Doncaster in September and also June’s Group 3 Betway Pinnacle Stakes at Haydock.

“She has done all that she needed to do,” said Cumani.

“She is a multiple Group winner and this is a nice way to go out. She will go on to make beautiful babies now.”

Cumani also had special praise for jockey Jason Watson, who picked up his first win at the highest level.

He said of the Stobart Apprentice Jockeys Championship title winner: “We rate him very highly.

“He is a very good jockey, a really nice lad and he has an extremely bright future ahead of him.”

Things will now wind down for Cumani with a few runners on the All-Weather before he switches his focus to running Fittocks Stud.

“We have some two-year-olds that need a bit of experience on the All-Weather before they go on to do good things for other people,” he added.

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