The 2011 edition of the Equestrian Festival was hosted yesterday at the Marsa Racetrack. This festival was organized by the Kunsill Malti Ghall-iSport in collaboration with the Malta Racing Club, the Malta Polo Club and the Malta Equestrian Federation. Various activities were held during the morning, amongst which one can mention pony races, dressage competition, quadrille and a polo match. A racing card, consisting of ten races, was organised during the afternoon. This programme included three finals for horses coming from class Premier, Gold and Silver trotters and which were held on a mile distance. These finals also formed part of the Equestrian Festival and were won by Mon Daniel, Kingin La Marc and Newman.
Ten horses took part in the class Premier final. It was Niro (David Ellul) the fastest horse at first, opening a length’s lead from Lonshults Anders (Shawn Portelli). But 400m from the finishing line, Niro started slowing down and was overtaken by Mon Daniel (James Carabott) which took its third win of the season from Livi Cantona (Charles Camilleri), Energy As (Carmelo Farrugia) and Lucas Ness (Mario Farrugia). The winner clocked an average time of 1.13.8” per kilometer. At the end of the race, Parliamentary Secretary for Youth and Sport Clyde Puli presented the winning trophy to James Carabott and George Baldacchino, driver and owner of the winning horse in the presence of Pippo Psaila, Festival Co-ordinator and Dr Matthew Brincat, MRC Chairman.
There was a close finish in the class Gold final when Kingpin La Marc (Rodney Gatt) and Candy Fantasy (Melvin Farrugia) sprinted together in the final straight. The win was awarded to the former after that the photofinish was consulted. Lass John (Shawn Formosa) and Indian Attack (Noel Baldacchino) ended respectively in third and fourth place.
Nine horses lined up for the KMS Equestrian Festival Final for class Silver trotters. It was favourite Newman (Kevin Sciberras) which after winning one of the heats, upped its pace from the outside 400m from the end in order to register its fourth win of the season from Charlie Smitt (Michael Ellul), Ocean Brillouard (Noel Baldacchino) and Flying As (Jonathan Farrugia).
Yesterday’s programme included also two flat races on a long distance of 1750m. In the first race, which was the Butler Cup final, French Etoile du Pic (Eric Zammit) increased its speed midway through the final straight in order to obtain its first win of the season from Letthewordgoforth (Sarah Borg) and Walker (Demis Zammit). Mounted by Ramon Grima, Friarscourt registered its first win in Malta in the second flat race which was the Piscopo Gardens Cup final. This American seven year old sprinted well 300m from the end and triumphed from Marivan (Charles Pace) and Nuage de la Tour (Paul Abela).
Another racing programme will be held tomorrow 7th June which is also a public holiday. The race card will include the prestigious Mediterranean Derby Final for flat horses and a final from the Sette Giugno competition for class Premier trotters. The first race will start at 2pm.
Race 1. KMS Equestrian Festival Heat. Class Silver. Dist – 1640m. 1. Winner Farming (Etienne Mallia) – 1.14.3”
II Tigrija. KMS Equestrian Festival Heat. Class Silver. Dist – 1640m.1. Divinis (Charles Magro) – 1.14.5”
III Tigrija. KMS Equestrian Festival Heat. Class Silver. Dist – 1640m. 1. Newman (Kevin Sciberras) – 1.15.3”
IV Tigrija. KMS Equestrian Festival Heat. Class Gold. Dist – 1640m. 1. Big Hit (Charlo’ Debono) – 1.15.3”
V Tigrija. KMS Equestrian Festival Heat. Class Gold. Dist – 1640m. 1. Candy Fantasy (Melvin Farrugia) – 1.13.8”
VI Tigrija. The Butler Cup. Class Flat. Dist – 1750m. 1. Etoile du Pic (Eric Zammit) – 1.50.4”
VII Tigrija. Piscopo Gardens Cup. Class Flat. Dist – 1750m. 1. Friarscourt (Ramon Grima) – 1.49.3”
VIII Tigrija. KMS Equestrian Festival Final. Class Silver Dist – 1640m. 1. Newman (Kevin Sciberras) – 1.15.1”
IX Tigrija. KMS Equestrian Festival Final. Class Premier. Dist – 1640m .1 Mon Daniel (James Carabott) – 1.13.8”
X Tigrija. KMS Equestrian Festival Final. Class Gold. Dist – 1640m. 1. Kingpin La Marc (Rodney Gatt) – 1.15.5”
Originally published in The Times of Malta 06/06/2011