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Horse Racing, Malta, Times of Malta

Kimberley Downs tops in cup final

Kimberley Downs crossing the finishing line, yesterday. Photo: Mike Orland

Kimberley Downs crossing the finishing line, yesterday. Photo: Mike Orland

Kimberley Downs, mounted by Michael Sultana, triumphed in the 2011 Exotique Cup for flat horses at the Marsa racetrack yesterday.

The final, on a long distance of 2,250m, formed part of the 49th meeting of the season which was made up of 10 races. The card included another flat race and one for Premier Class trotters over 3,140m.

Seven horses participated in the Exotique Cup final. Cheeky Jack (Ramon Grima) was first out of the gates, going in front with Genievre (Sarah Borg) and Ollie Fliptrik (Demis Zammit) behind.

But, with a lap to go, Cheeky Jack lost pace considerably and, 600m from the finish line, was overtaken by favourite Kimberley Downs which went on to register its fifth win of the year.

Ollie Fliptrik and Wildnis (Eric Zammit) made it home in third and fourth place respectively.

After the race, Grace Borg, of Exotique, presented the winning trophy to Sultana and the owners of Kimberley Downs whose winning time was 2.19.8”.

Jockey Grima put Nuage de la Tour in front some 400m from the post in the other flat race and the French seven-year-old paced the race impeccably for its second win of the year.

Salsiane (Eric Zammit), Pride of India (Michael Sultana) and Irish newcomer Little Benny (Demis Zammit) followed in that order.

In the Premier Class race, Swedish Energy Launcher (Alex Cortis) made a strong dash from the outside 500m from the post and finished first, half-a-length ahead of French debutant Nous Dix De L’Evre (Michael Ghigo).

Lover Boy Index (Mark Desira) and Dialect Af Prinfo (George Attard) claimed the other top positions as Energy Launcher secured its sixth victory of the season.

Magnifique Sablais (Julian Farrugia) confirmed its status as one of the most consistent horses of the year after obtaining its seventh win in the first of two Gold races.

This trotter sped home to victory in the final straight, finishing first ahead of Vasterbo Hitchiker (Raymond Clifton), Match de Bannes (Noel Baldacchino) and Matador Knick (Carmelo Farrugia).

In the other Gold Class race, favourite Naja in Blue (Mario Falzon) took the lead with a lap to go to cruise to its second successive win at Marsa.

Gigo Lloyd (Clint Vassallo), Peasant Gallant (Shawn Portelli) and L’An Deux Milles (Chris Cassar) followed Naja in Blue home in that order.

Yesterday’s winners
Race 1: Copper, Yotara Meerswal (Mario Falzon).
Race 2: Copper, Jet Starline (Mario Fenech).
Race 3: Flat, Nuage de le Tour (Ramon Grima).
Race 4: Gold, Magnifique Sablais (Julian Farrugia).
Race 5: Copper, Koko Loco (Cliferty Calleja).
Race 6: Gold, Naja In Blue (Mario Falzon).
Race 7: Final, flat – Kimberley Downs (Michael Sultana).
Race 8: Bronze, Luriga Liz (George Attard).
Race 9: Premier, Energy Launcher (Alex Cortis).
Race 10: Silver, Narcus du Roc (Julian Farrugia).

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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