As expected, the three Premier heats from the Prix de Vincennes Championship for French horses were the main attraction in yesterday’s meeting at Marsa.
The programme consisted of 12 heats, all for French trotters, and heralded the start of two other championships – the Prix d’Eng-hien, for class Gold, and Prix de Cabourg for class Silver.
In the first Prix de Vincennes heat, Mystere d’Urfist (Noel Baldacchino) obtained its first win at Marsa from Mark de Chamant (Michael Seychell) with an average speed of 1.15.6” per kilometre.
Milord Barbes was the winner in the second Premier heat averaging a speed of 1.16.3.
This horse led all the way and won easily ahead of Joker de Choisel (Frencu Cassar).
In the third Prix de Vincennes heat, outsider Malin Roro (Mario Farrugia) won the race by a stag-gering ten lengths in front of Major Chaleonnais (Charlo Debono).
Yesterday’s card also included three heats from the Gold class Prix d’Enghien.
There was a close finish in the first heat won by Kojak d’Isques (Charles Camilleri) from Kalipso Pierji (Michael Ellul).
Neo de Mira (George Muscat) started to slow down around 300m from the post in the second heat and was overtaken by Natif de Salvi (Redent Magro) which finished first ahead of Novak (Tony Demanuele).
In the remaining Gold heat, Nono d’Echal (Darren Mizzi) produced a strong burst in the final metres to notch up its first win at Marsa.
L’Alpha de Cosse (David Galea) and Intrus des Rioults (Carmelo Micallef) were second and third respectively.
Winners at Marsa
Race 1: Heat, Silver, Kandy du Fruitier (C. Vassallo).
Race 2: Heat, Silver, Obscur de Busset (S. Portelli).
Race 3: Heat, Gold, Kojak d’Isques (C. Camilleri).
Race 4: Heat, Silver, Kiton de Bouere (D. Mizzi).
Race 5: Heat, Silver, Knight Brunel (N. Baldacchino).
Race 6: Championship heat, Premier Class, Mystere d’Urfist (N. Baldacchino).
Race 7: Heat, Silver, Midoun du Home (C. Camilleri).
Race 8: Heat, Gold, Natif de Salvi (R. Magro).
Race 9: Heat, Premier, Milord Barbes (M. Ellul).
Race 10: Heat, Gold, Nono d’Echal (D. Mizzi).
Race 11: Heat, Premier, Malin Roro (M. Farrugia).
Race 12: Heat, Oeillet Blanc (M. Ellul).
Originally published in The Times 16 May 2011