The highlights of yesterday’s meeting at Marsa were the two semi-finals from the Emirates Airline It-Tazza l-Kbira competition on a long distance of 2,640m.
These races for Premier Class and Gold trotters were won by Kakisis (Johan Axisa) and Major Chaleonnais (Charlo Debono).
Yesterday’s card consisted of 11 races, all for trotters.
Ten horses moved to the final stage of the Emirates Cup.
In the first semi-final, favourite Kakisis increased its pace 400m from the post and registered its second win in a row from Neo de Mira (Noel Baldacchino), Lonshults Anders (Shawn Portelli) and Madis Boy (Rodney Gatt).
Liosco Atout (Herman Mc Kay) also qualified for the final after finishing in fifth place. The winner clocked an average of 1.16” per kilometre.
Major Chaleonnais (Debono) obtained its third win in the second semi-final. This French 11-year-old led all the way and finished first ahead of Lou Petiot (Michael Axisa), Isolated (Noel Baldacchino), Marathon Villers (Mario Fenech) and Netter Williams (Redent Magro). Major Chaleonnais had an average speed of 1.16.1” per kilometre.
The programme included two races for Gold Class trotters.
In the first, Notice As (Darren Mizzi) was overtaken by favourite Energy Launcher (Alex Cortis) midway through the final straight. This was Energy Launcher’s third win of the year and its second on the trot.
A keen tussle developed in the final 100 metres of the other Gold Class race.
In the end, Moutier (Alex Cortis) finished first but was disqualified and victory went to Carnegie Hall (Darren Mizzi). L’An Deux Milles (Chris Cassar) was promoted to second place.
The next racing meeting will be held on Thursday.
This programme will feature two heats from the Mediterranean Championship for jockeys and drivers. The first race is scheduled to start at 2 p.m.
Charles Clifton remembered
During yesterday’s programme, a minute’s silence was observed in memory of veteran driver Charles Clifton. He passed away on Saturday morning.
During his racing career as a top-notch driver, Clifton won a series of key races when leading popular trotters, the likes of Koqsour, Lionel, Ring Leader and Nemo de Bruyeres.
Clifton will surely be remembered for winning the 1993 President’s Cup with French horse Sanit.
Funeral mass will be held today at the Holy Trinity Church in Marsa, starting at 2 p.m.
Winners at the racetrack
Race 1: Copper, Miami du Coq (Michael Ghigo).
Race 2: Copper, Marquis du Domaine (Rodney Gatt).
Race 3: Bronze, Judon du Cap Vert (Noel Baldacchino).
Race 4: Copper, Mirall Composite (Frans Tanti).
Race 5: Gold, Energy Launcher (Alex Cortis).
Race 6: Bronze, Rybo Juvel (Julian Farrugia).
Race 7: Semi-final, Kakisis (Johan Axisa).
Race 8: Bronze, Olympic Swing (Rodney Gatt).
Race 9: Semi-final, Major Chaleonnais (Charlo Debono).
Race 10: Gold, Carnegie Hall (Darren Mizzi).
Race 11: Bronze, Lancaster (Noel Baldacchino).
Originally published in The Times on the 28 March 2011