The two semi-finals from the Prix de Vincennes championship, open for French trotters only, were the main events in yesterday’s meeting at the racetrack.
The programme consisted of ten races, all trotting, and also included other semi-finals from the Prix d’Enghien and Prix de Cabourg championships for gold and silver classes respectively.
Charles Camilleri was the best driver of the afternoon with three wins.
Only six horses lined up in the first Prix de Vincennes semi-final with In Vitro du Bourg among the trotters scratched a few hours before the race.
Here, Mystere d’Urfist (Noel Baldacchino) stormed clear off the field with 50m to go and went past the post first.
Later, however, this horse was disqualified and the win was awarded to Malin Roro (Mario Farrugia).
Mark de Chamant (Michael Seychell), Joker de Choisel (Frencu Cassar) and Knock de Manche (Herman McKay) also made it to the final.
There was a close finish to the second Premier semi-final yes-terday when Master Perrine (Herman McKay) and Kakisis (Johan Axisa) sprinted neck and neck in the final straight.
The photo-finish had to determine the winner and victory went to Kakisis by a whisker.
Marathon Villers (Mario Fenech), Le Coup de Foudre (Charles Camilleri) and Lovely Mab (Noel Baldacchino) also qualified for the final race.
Kojak d’Isques (Charles Camilleri) was first trotter home in the first Prix d’Enghien semi-final.
This horse increased its speed in the straight and took its third win of the year from Le Bon Mayennais (Clifforty Calleja), Intrus des Rioults (Carmelo Micallef), Lord the Best (Mark Mifsud) and Novak (Tony Demanuele).
In the other Gold class semi-final, Magnifique Sablais (Julian Farrugia) confirmed its current fine form, leading all the way for its fourth win of the season.
Natif de Salvi (Redent Magro), Marquis Penalan (Mark Refalo), L’Alpha de Cosse (David Galea) and L’Ideal de Fersan (Carl Caruana) also made it to the final.
Meanwhile, two semi-finals from the McDonald’s Mediter-ranean Derby were held during Friday evening’s meet.
The winners were Buttermilk (Demis Zammit) and Kimberley Down (Ramon Grima).
The next meeting is scheduled for Sunday.
This will form part of the Eque-strian Festival organised by Kunsill Malti għall-Isport in conjunction with the Malta Racing Club, Malta Polo Club and Malta Equestrian Federation.
Winners at racetrack
Race 1: Copper, Hawkear (Rodney Gatt).
Race 2: Bronze, Pretty Post (David Ellul).
Race 3: Silver, Law Suit (Shawn Portelli).
Race 4: Silver, Oeillet Blanc (Charles Camilleri).
Race 5: Gold, Kojak d’Isques (Charles Camilleri).
Race 6: Premier, Malin Roro (Mario Farrugia).
Race 7: Silver, Oris du Lupin (Clifforty Calleja).
Race 8: Gold, Magnifique Sablais (Julian Farrugia).
Race 9: Premier, Kakisis (Johan Axisa).
Race 10: Gold, Gigo Lloyd (Charles Camilleri).
Originally published in The Times 30 May 2011