Kimberley Downs and Cheeky Jack won the two major races at Marsa yesterday.
These were semi-finals from the Exotique Challenge Cup for flat racing on a long distance of 2,250m and formed part of the 46th meeting of the season which in-cluded seven other events.
The programme also had a Premier Class race on a long distance of 2,640m in which Niky du Donjon obtained its third win of the season. Rodney Gatt was the best driver of the afternoon with three wins.
In the first semi-final, Friarscourt (Ramon Grima) was the first horse out of the gates, opening a length’s lead from Tarruji (Oliver Briffa) and Ollie Fliptrik (Sarah Borg).
But with some 500m to go, Friarscourt lost pace and was overtaken by American Kimberley Downs (Michael Sultana) which went on to take its fourth win of the season eight lengths in front of Wildnis (Eric Zammit).
Ollie Fliptrik also qualified for the final after finishing in fourth place.
Favourite Cheeky Jack (Ramon Grima) led all the way in the second semi-final.
This American seven-year-old had a comfortable ten-length win from Prince Yarraman (Charles Pace), Genievre (Sarah Borg) and American newcomer Lite North Wind (Eric Zammit).
For Cheeky Jack this was its second win in Malta.
In the Premier Class race, favourite Niky du Donjon (Joe Vella) upped its pace from the outside 500m from the end and won by a length from Lascar Beaujolais (Clint Vassallo). Dialect Af Prinfo (Charles Camilleri) and Noble d’Ete (Raymond Clifton) were third and fourth respectively.
The card yesterday also included two races for Gold Class trotters.
In the first, Night Inlet (Mario Baldacchino) surged ahead with 200m to go and managed to obtain its first win at Marsa from No Comprendo (Andrew Farrugia). Kingpin La Marc (Noel Baldacchino) and Matador Knick (Carmelo Farrugia) followed behind in that order.
Count of Life (Michael Ellul) started to slow down 150m from the finishing line of the other Gold Class race and was overtaken by Kejser Flamingo (Rodney Gatt) which finished first from Quick Cape (Julian Farrugia) and L’An Deux Milles (Chris Cassar).
Another meeting at the racetrack will be held on Friday. This will consist of eight races, all trotting, with the first starting at 6.45 p.m.
Race 1: Bronze, Pajarito Nada (Frans Tanti).
Race 2: Bronze, Opimus (Rodney Gatt).
Race 3: Flat, Kimberley Downs (Michael Sultana).
Race 4: Silver, Norton de Gaia (Noel Baldacchino).
Race 5: Gold, Night Inlet (Mario Baldacchino).
Race 6: Flat, Cheeky Jack (Ramon Grima).
Race 7: Gold, Kejser Flamingo (Rodney Gatt).
Race 8: Premier, Niky du Donjon (Joe Vella).
Race 9: Silver, Master Lupin (Rodney Gatt).
Originally Published on The Times 24/10/2011