The 2011 Equestrian Festival was held yesterday at the Marsa Racetrack. This festival was organised by the Kunsill Malti għall-iSport in conjunction with the Malta Racing Club, the Malta Polo Club and the Malta Equestrian Federation.
Various activities took place in the morning, including pony races, a dressage competition, quadrille and a polo match. A 10-race programme, featuring three finals, was run in the afternoon.
Ten horses lined up for the Premier class final. Niro (David Ellul) opened a length’s lead from Lonshults Anders (Shawn Portelli). But, 400 metres from the finish line, Niro began to slow down and was overtaken by Mon Daniel (James Carabott) which went on to claim its third win of the season.
Livi Cantona (Charles Camilleri) finished second ahead of Energy As (Carmelo Farrugia) and Lucas Ness (Mario Farrugia).
There was a close finish in the Gold class final as Kingpin La Marc (Rodney Gatt) and Candy Fantasy (Melvin Farrugia) sprinted together in the final straight. The photo-finish verdict went in favour of the former.
Lass John (Shawn Formosa) and Indian Attack (Noel Baldacchino) were third and fourth respectively.
Nine horses took part in the KMS Equestrian Festival final for Silver class trotters. After winning one of the heats, favourite Newman (Kevin Sciberras) increased its pace on the outside 400 metres from the end to record its fourth win of the season from Charlie Smitt (Michael Ellul), Ocean Brillouard (Baldacchino) and Flying As (Jonathan Farrugia).
Yesterday’s programme also included two flat races on the long distance of 1,750m. In the first, the Butler Cup final, French Etoile du Pic (Eric Zammit) raised its speed midway through the final straight to obtain its first win of the season from Letthewordgoforth (Sarah Borg) and Walker (Demis Zammit).
Ridden by Ramon Grima, Friarscourt gained its first win in Malta in the second flat race – the Piscopo Gardens Cup final. Marivan (Charles Pace) took second place with Nuage de la Tour (Paul Abela) third.
Another programme is scheduled for tomorrow. All eyes will be on the Mediterranean Derby final for flat horses and a final from the Sette Giugno competition for Premier class trotters.
The first race starts at 2 p.m.
Race 1: Heat, Silver class – Winner Farming (Etienne Mallia).
Race 2: Heat, Silver class – Divinis (Charles Magro).
Race 3: Heat, Silver class – Newman (Kevin Sciberras).
Race 4: Heat, Gold class – Big Hit (Charlò Debono).
Race 5: Heat, Gold class – Candy Fantasy (Melvin Farrugia).
Race 6: The Butler Cup (flat) – Etoile du Pic (Eric Zammit).
Race 7: Piscopo Gardens Cup (flat) – Friarscourt (Ramon Grima).
Race 8: KMS Equestrian Festival Silver class final – Newman (Kevin Sciberras).
Race 9: KMS Equestrian Festival Premier class final – Mon Daniel (James Carabott).
Race 10: KMS Equestrian Festival Gold class final – Kingpin La Marc (Rodney Gatt).
Originally published on The Times on the 06 June 2011