The final of the Mediterranean Derby was the main attraction at yesterday’s meeting at Marsa where a programme of ten races also included the Sette Giugno Cup final for Premier Class trotters.
Buttermilk triumphed in the Derby and Think Yatzee was the first horse home in the other final.
Seven runners took part in the Derby, this year sponsored by McDonald’s. It was Adorabile Med (Demis Zammit) first out of the gates. This Irish six-year-old mare opened a length’s lead from Mayfair Princess (Glen Braem) and Buttermilk (Eric Zammit).
However, with 400m to go Adorabile Med was unable to keep up the pace and started slowing down. At the post, Buttermilk held off the challenge of Uncle Bertie (Michael Sultana) to register its second win in a row at the racetrack.
Uncle Bertie was later disqualified by the judges for running out of the track and Just the Best (Oliver Briffa) was awarded second place from Adorabile Med.
After the race, Eric Zammit and George Vella, as the respective jockey and owner of the winning horse, were presented with the glittering Mediterranean Derby trophy by Matthew Brincat, Malta Racing Club chairman, and Natasha Degiorgio, Marketing Manager at McDonald’s.
In the Sette Giugno Cup final, favourite Think Yatzee (Clint Vassallo) led all the way for its fourth win of the season and a second in a row. At the finishing line, Think Yatzee was half-a-length ahead of Energy Launcher (Alex Cortis) and Skip Dimanche (Charlo Debono).
Yesterday’s card also included another Premier Class race on a long distance of 2,640m.
Here, French Max d’Avignere (Darren Mizzi) increased its speed around 700m from the finishing line and took its first win in Malta from Belafonte (Charlo Debono) and James de l’Iton (Raymond Clifton).
Another racing programme will be held at the racetrack on Sunday afternoon.
Winners at racetrack
Race 1: Bronze, Purple Street (Redent Magro).
Race 2: Bronze, Owens Kin (Noel Baldacchino).
Race 3: Silver, Napolitano Sun (David Ellul).
Race 4: Gold, Max Galbe (Carmelo Agius).
Race 5: Copper, Trick the Lind (Kevin Mifsud).
Race 6: Premier, Max d’Avignere (Darren Mizzi).
Race 7: Mediterranean Derby, Buttermilk (Eric Zammit).
Race 8: Gold, Niky du Donjon (James Carabott).
Race 9: Sette Giugno Cup Final, Think Yatzee (Clint Vassallo).
Race 10: Silver. Opera du Pam (James Carabott).
Originally published in The Times on the 8 June 2011