As expected, the two heats from the Prix de Vincennes championship for Premier Class trotters from France were the main attraction in programme at the Marsa racetrack, yesterday.
These races were held on a long distance of 2,640m and formed part of the 52nd meeting of the season made up of ten heats from various championships for French horses.
Major Chaleonnais and newcomer Nelson du Val were the winning horses in the Premier heats as three of the races held yesterday were won by newcomers.
Ten horses ran in the first Premier Class race.
Lipouz Lesmelchen (Tony Demanuele) looked a serious contender in the early stages but midway through the distance this horse was overtaken by Major Chaleonnais (Charlo Debono) and Master Perrine (Nathaniel Barbara).
These two front-runners were still going strong in the last few metres as a keen tussle had developed in the straight until favourite Major Chaleonnais flashed home first for its sixth win of the season.
Madis Boy (Christian Xerri) was third place ahead of Joker de Choisel (Frencu Cassar), Podium (Julian Farrugia) and Nuper (Andre Farrugia).
French debutante Nelson du Val (Salvu Cutajar) led all the way in the other Premier heat. This ten-year-old held off the challenge of favourite Mica Bonero (David Galea) to secure victory.
Kakisis (Johan Axisa) was third ahead of Noble d’Ete (Raymond Clifton), Nevaio des Bordes (Brian Hili) and Mont Cenis Honey (Noel Baldacchino) who also qualified for the semi final stage.
Major Chaleonnais’s average time was 1.16” per kilometre and that of Nelson du Val a fraction of a second slower at 1.17”.
In the first heat from the Prix d’Enghien for Gold trotters Noel Baldacchino took the lead with Night Inlet a lap from home. This horse went on to obtain its second win of the season, less than a length ahead of Magnifique Sablais (Julian Farrugia).
French newcomer Ouest du Vivier (Clifferty Calleja) surged ahead 1,000m from the finish of the second Gold Class heat to secure victory from from Nomade de Mai (Noel Baldacchino).
Another meeting was held on Saturday afternoon, consisting of eight heats for French trotters and a flat race on a short distance of 1,250m.
In the heat for Premier trotters, favourite Mig of the Wood (Noel Baldacchino) started to slow down around 300m from the finish and in came Milord Barbes (Frenċu Cassar) to claim its third win of the season.
Irish Prince Yarraman (Michael Sultana) obtained its first win at Marsa in Saturday’s flat race. This horse finished strongly ahead of Lite North Wind (Ramon Grima).
Race 1: Bronze, Marchallach (Rodney Gatt).
Race 2: Bronze, November Oaks (Charles Camilleri).
Race 3: Silver, Noble d’Urzy (Jeffrey Said).
Race 4: Gold, Night Inlet (Noel Baldacchino).
Race 5: Silver, Oscar Mati (Rodney Gatt).
Race 6: Gold, Ouest du Vivier (Cliferty Calleja).
Race 7: Premier, Major Chaleonnais (Charlo’ Debono).
Race 8: Silver, Mealington (Darren Mizzi).
Race 9: Premier, Nelson du Val (Salvu Cutajar).
Race 10: Silver, Kaki de Peyrahout (Noel Baldacchino).