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Horse Racing, Malta, Times of Malta

Championship finals steal the show at Marsa racecourse

Moustique Rose – winner of the Cagnes Sur Mer final yesterday. Photo: Jason Borg

Moustique Rose – winner of the Cagnes Sur Mer final yesterday. Photo: Jason Borg

Outsider Joker de Choisel (Frenċu Cassar) won the Premier Class race at the Marsa racecourse yesterday, the Prix de Vincennes final for French trotters on a short distance of 2,140m.

This race formed part of the 30th meeting of the season made up of ten races, all for trotters.

The programme included four other finals for French trotters only. The championships were organised by the Malta Racing Club in conjunction with the French association, Societe’ du Cheval Francais.

Nine horses lined up in the Premier final. As expected, Malin Roro (Mario Farrugia) was first out of the blocks.

This 11-year-old horse opened a two-length lead from Mark de Chamant (Michael Seychell) and Master Perrine (Herman McKay). But, 300m from the end, Malin Roro started to slow down and was overtaken by veteran Joker de Choisel which obtained its first win of the year from Master Perrine, Malin Roro and Mark de Chamant.

The winner clocked an average time of 1.15.4 per kilometre.

At the end of the final, Benoit Fabrega, SECF official, presented the trophy to driver Cassar in the presence of Matthew Brincat, the MRC chairman.

It should be noted that in June 2008, Joker de Choisel had also won a similar Premier Class final in another championship for French trotters only.

There was a close finish in the Prix d’Enghien final for Gold Class trotters when six horses sprinted together in the final straight.

The honours went to Lord the Best (Mark Mifsud) which registered its first win of the year from L’Ideal de Fersan (Carl Caruana) and Magnifique Sablais (Julian Farrugia). Natif de Salvi (Redent Magro) finished in fourth place.

In the Prix de Cabourg final for Silver Class trotters, it was Lys des Etroits (Brian Hili) that surged ahead 150m from the end to finish first ahead of Knight Brunel (Noel Baldacchino).

Midoun du Home (Charles Camilleri) and Obscur de Busset (Shawn Portelli) ended third and fourth respectively.

The Prix de Cagnes Sur Mer final, for Bronze Class trotters, was won by favourite Moustique Rose (Noel Baldacchino) which upped its pace from the inside midway through the straight for home.

L’Ami du Popey (Julian Farrugia) triumphed in the Prix de Caen final for Copper Class trotters after increasing its speed 150m from the finishing line.

For L’Ami du Popey, this was its second win of the season.

The next programme at the racecourse will be held on Friday evening.

Yesterday’s winners
Race 1: Copper, Insa (Frenċu Cassar).
Race 2: Bronze, Sweep The Floor (Carmelo Farrugia).
Race 3: Bronze, Syllabub (Rodney Gatt).
Race 4: Bronze, Narcus du Roc (Noel Baldacchino).
Race 5: Copper, L’Ami du Popey (Julian Farrugia).
Race 6: Bronze, Moustique Rose (Noel Baldacchino).
Race 7: Silver, Lys des Etroits (Brian Hili).
Race 8: Gold, Lord the Best (Mark Mifsud).
Race 9: Premier, Joker de Choisel (Frencu Cassar).
Race 10: Silver, Cross Country FC (Marco Debono).

Originally published in The Times on the 13 June 2011

About Kenneth Vella

A horse racing enthusiast and journalist. He started his career in 1992 and today is the main correspondent on horse racing for In-Nazzjon, Il-Mument and the Times of Malta. He also writes on a number of international magazines and produces TV programmes for E22 and TVM.Kenneth is the proud winner of two consecutive awards of the Malta Broadcasting Awards for the best sport programmes with documentaries.

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