The quarter-finals from the Emirates Airline It-Tazza l-Kbira were the main attraction of yesterday’s card on a wet afternoon at Marsa.
These championship races were held over a long distance of 2,640m and formed part of the 11th meeting of the season made up of 12 races. From each quarter-final, six horses qualified for the semi-finals stage.
In the first quarter-final, Kalipso Pierji (Michael Ellul) started to slow down midway through the straight for home. This horse was overtaken by Lonshults Anders (Shawn Portelli) which went on to obtain its first win at the racetrack from Lou Petiot (Michael Axisa).
Glory Cowboyland (Julian Farrugia), Kain Poifond (Noel Baldacchino) and Affe Fager (Brian Zammit) also qualified.
James de l’Iton (Raymond Clifton) returned to winning form in the second quarter-final.
This popular French trotter surged ahead 50m from the post and finished first ahead of favourite Major Chaleonnais (Charlo Debono), Liosco Atout (Herman McKay), Count of Life (Michael Ellul), Neo de Mira (George Muscat) and Arnie Sensation (Carmelo Farrugia).
Kakisis (Johan Axisa) increased its speed 400m from the finish of the next quarter-final and went on to clinch its first win of the year.
Race Ball (Tony Demanuele), Isolated (Noel Baldacchino), Netter Williams (Redent Magro), Magnific As (Ivan Bilocca) and Flash Coger (Julian Farrugia) also made the semis.
Marathon Villers (Raymond Micallef) lived up to expectations and led almost all the way in the remaining quarter-final.
This French 11-year-old registered its second consecutive win at Marsa.
Madis Boy (Rodney Gatt), Mon Daniel (James Carabott), Gentle Way (Eric Bezzina), Wiss Night Hawk (Charles Camilleri) and Malin Roro (Mario Farrugia) also qualified.
Meanwhile, during yesterday’s meet, Matthew Brincat, chairman of the Malta Racing Club, presented veteran driver Raymond Clifton with the U*Bet Championship Trophy for Bronze Class trotters.
The final was raced last month but the result has since been altered following doping tests. On that occasion, Clifton had driven Internet. The winner was eventually disqualified.
Also yesterday, club directors Mark Vella and Marco Millo presented trophies to the owners of Kakisis and Lucas Ness.
Kakisis was named the most consistent horse of the past season and Lucas Ness official winner of the President’s Cup.
Winners at racetrack
Race 1: Copper, Mirall Composite (Frans Tanti).
Race 2: Copper, Judoka du Rob (Joe Farrugia).
Race 3: Silver, Jet de Mee (Clint Vassallo).
Race 4: Silver, Niko de Chamant (Victor Fenech).
Race 5: Bronze, Noe de Loudat (Kevin Sciberras).
Race 6: Quarter-final, Lonshults Anders (Shawn Portelli).
Race 7: Quarter-final, James de l’Iton (Raymond Clifton).
Race 8: Gold, Energy Launcher (Alex Cortis).
Race 9: Quarter-final, Kakisis (Johan Axisa).
Race 10: Quarter-final, Marathon Villers (Raymond Micallef).
Race 11: Silver, Natif du Moulin (Carmelo Farrugia).
Race 12: Flat, Tarruji (Oliver Briffa).
Originally published in The Times on the 21 April 2011