The seventh meeting of the season at the Marsa Racetrack yesterday was made up of eight races.
In the absence of events from the Premier and Gold classes, the highlight of this programme was a flat race on a long distance of 2,250m won by favourite Uncle Bertie (Michael Sultana). This was the six-year-old English runner’s fourth win in a row.
Seven horses took part in the flat race and Ollie Fliptrik (Sarah Borg) was the fastest horse out of the gates.
During the first lap, Ollie Fliptrick opened a length’s lead from Uncle Bertie and No Telling (Ramon Grima). However, with 500m to go, Uncle Bertie increased its pace on the outside to sprint to a comfortable victory, one length and-a-half ahead of Ollie Fliptrik.
Irish newcomer Life is Now (Oliver Briffa) and Genievre (Charles Pace) finished third and fourth place respectively.
The card yesterday also had three races for Silver class trotters.
Rybo Juvel (Julian Farrugia) started to slow down 400m from the finishing line of the first class Silver race and was overtaken by French newcomer Ouragan de Valsoiz (Emmanuel Garzia).
Mezio Josselyn (Victor Fenech) was second ahead of Master Lupin (Rodney Gatt) and Sweep the Floor (Carmelo Farrugia).
There was a close finish in the next Silver race when six horses sprinted together in the final 100 metres. After the photo-finish was consulted, the win was awarded to Niko de Chamant (Victor Fenech) from Stainless Steel (Charles Camilleri), Robin Grain (Julian Farrugia) and Kandy du Fruitier (Noel Baldacchino).
In the remaining Silver race of the afternoon, Mon Cheri (Rodney Gatt) went past the post first but was later disqualified.
The win went to Swedish newcomer Front (Nathaniel Barbara) with Kobber Dust (Darren Mizzi), Kaki de Peyrahout (Emmanuel Gafa) and Charlie Smitt (Shawn Formosa) finishing second, third and fourth respectively.
Another racing programme will be held at the racetrack on Saturday. The programme will include a series of heats from the Emirates It-Tazza l-Kbira, a championship open for Premier and Gold class trotters.
Winners at the racetrack
Race 1: Copper, Mirall Composite (Frans Tanti).
Race 2: Bronze, Mario d’Orbec (Frencu Cassar).
Race 3: Silver, Ouragan de Valsoiz (Emmanuel Garzia).
Race 4: Flat, Uncle Bertie (Michael Sultana).
Race 5: Silver, Niko de Chamant (Victor Fenech).
Race 6: Bronze, Belbroughton Road (Carl Caruana).
Race 7: Bronze, Noe de Loudat (Frencu Cassar).
Race 8: Silver, Front (Nathaniel Barbara).
Originally published in The Times on the 21 February 2011