Driven by Michael Ellul, French Milord Barbes won the Premier class race, on the long 3,140m distance, during the 22nd meeting of the season yesterday.
Eleven horses lined up for the Premier race. Milord Barbes stormed ahead of the field in the initial stages and cruised to its first win in Malta from Lovely Mab (Noel Baldacchino). Gentle Way (Eric Bezzina) and Energy Launcher (Alex Cortis) were third and fourth respectively.
Yesterday’s card also included three races for Gold class trotters.
In the first one, French Kingpin La Marc (Rodney Gatt) gained its first win in Malta after increasing its speed around 600m from the finish line. This horse triumphed by a length from Kalipso Pierji (Ellul), French newcomer Nono d’Echal (Darren Mizzi) and Gigo Lloyd (Andrew Psaila).
Lucky des Brisants (Christian Xerri) returned to winning form in the second Gold race. This French 12- year-old trotter hit the front with a lap to go, finishing first from Race Ball (Tony Demanuele). Kojak d’Isques (Charles Camilleri) and Natif de Salvi (Redent Magro) placed third and fourth respectively.
There was a close finish in the third and last Gold class race as four horses sprinted together in the final straight. The win was awarded to Major de la Vronde (Charles Camilleri). Magnifique Sablais (Julian Farrugia), Bankir Zon (Clint Vassallo) and Napolitano Sun (David Ellul) claimed the other top-four positions.
Meanwhile, another programme was held on Friday. Of the seven trotting events, there was an intriguing Premier race and an international race involving female Scandinavian drivers and Maltese counterparts Lorraine Cunningham and Sylvienne Cardona.
Sweden’s Louise Medelberg put Nympheta de Bisoir in front around 1,200m from the finish line. This French mare went on to win by six lengths from three other horses, all under the reins of Swedish drivers.
In the only Premier class race run on Friday, In Vitro du Bourg (Ivan Bilocca) upped its pace from the outside 500m from the end and registered its first win of the season from Isolated (Noel Baldacchino), Kakisis (Johan Axisa) and Wiss Night Hawk (Charles Camilleri).
Winners at Marsa
Race 1: Silver, Freak (Carl Caruana).
Race 2: Silver, Stainless Steel (Charles Camilleri).
Race 3: Silver, Noble Spirit (Noel Baldacchino).
Race 4: Gold, Kingpin La Marc (Rodney Gatt).
Race 5: Silver, Nerval Du Donjon (Ivan Bilocca).
Race 6: Gold, Lucky des Brisants (Christian Xerri).
Race 7: Premier, Milord Barbes (Michael Ellul).
Race 8: Gold, Major de la Vronde (Charles Camilleri).
Originally published in The Time 09 May 2011