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Horse Racing, Malta, Times of Malta

Fire wins Premier event

The final stages of the Premier Class race won by Fire (left). Photo: Matthew Mirabelli

The final stages of the Premier Class race won by Fire (left). Photo: Matthew Mirabelli

Fire, the Swedish nine-year-old trotter under the charge of driver Marco Refalo, won the major event on the card at the Marsa Racetrack yesterday when the second meeting of the season was held.

The programme was made up of seven races, all for trotters, on a short distance of 2,140m.

Thirteen horses participated in the Premier Class race.

Normand d’Oger (Cliferty Calleja) was the fastest horse early on and during the first 1,000m opened a length’s lead from Belafonte (Charlo Debono) and Lou Petiot (Michael Axisa).

But with a lap to go, Fire started to increase its pace significantly and dashed strongly from the outside in the last few metres to beat Normand d’Oger to the post.

Magic de Assigny (Raymond Clifton) and Bello Fratello (Clint Vassallo) finished third and fourth respectively as Fire had an average time of 1.15.3” per kilometre.

There was a close finish in the first Gold Class race when Count of Life (Charles Camilleri) and Nagano Phedo (Mario Fenech) sprinted neck-and-neck in the final straight.

The win was eventually awarded to Nagano Phedo after the photo-finish had to be consulted by the judges.

Nomade de Mai (Martin Grech) and Big Hit (Charlo Debono) claimed the other top four positions.

It was 400m to the post of the other Gold race yesterday that Jobie Lucky (Rodney Gatt) started stepping up its pace and beat Najac (Mark Mifsud) to the post. Lime Casted (David Ellul) and Baron GL (Clint Vassallo) followed behind.

The card also included two races for Silver Class trotters.

In the first, French Magnum (Frans Gauci) was unchallenged for most of the distance and placed first from Nympheta de Bisoir (Jonathan Farrugia), Giant Game (Darren Mizzi) and Niko de Chamant (Victor Fenech).

Another French horse, Nicos de Peneme (Kevin Azzopardi), sur-ged ahead 500m from the post of the other Silver race and finished seven lengths in front of Mint Condition (Jason Vassallo) and Osiris des Kids (Sandro Cutajar).

Meanwhile, the first meeting of the year, also consisting of seven races all for trotters, was held on Saturday afternoon.

The Premier Class race was won by Noble d’Ete, driven by Raymond Clifton.

Yesterday’s winners
Race 1: Copper, Papa’s Dream (Tony Tanti).
Race 2: Bronze, Mario d’Orbec (Andrew Pace).
Race 3: Silver, Magnum (Frans Gauci).
Race 4: Gold, Nagano Phedo (Mario Fenech).
Race 5: Silver, Nicos de Peneme (Kevin Azzopardi).
Race 6: Premier, Fire (Marco Refalo).
Race 7: Gold, Jobie Lucky (Rodney Gatt).


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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