John Gosden pays tribute to Without Parole groom and former jockey Maurizio Vargiu

Horse Racing Without Parole Royal Ascot
Maurizio Vargiu (right) leads in Without Parole after winning St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot. Photo: Ascot Racecourse

By Jon Lees

GB: John Gosden has paid tribute to Maurizio Vargiu, the groom best known for his association with G1 winner Without Parole, who has been found dead.

Vargiu, 48, was a successful jockey in his native Italy before going on to work in stables in France, and latterly in Newmarket with Charlie Appleby and then Gosden at Clarehaven. “Maurizio was a popular and much liked member of our staff, a very talented rider and a very nice person,” said Gosden.

“He was on holiday, and this has obviously come as a shock to his family, friends and associates. We are helping and supporting his family and understand the need for their privacy at this very tragic and sad time.”

Vargiu rode more than 1,200 winners in Italy, mostly for trainers Alfonso Tortorella, Lorenzo Brogi and Giovanni Cassanelli. 

He attained Group success on Special Nash and was also associated with big race winners Taxi De Nuit and Roy, until retiring from the saddle in 2013.

Vargiu looked after many good horses for Gosden, notably Without Parole who won the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot in 2018. He leaves a wife Stefania and daughter Sarah.

Suffolk Police said Vargiu’s death was “non-suspicious”.

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