True Q, driven by Shawn Portelli, won yesterday’s top race during the seventh meeting of the season at the Marsa racetrack. The Swedish 11-year-old crossed the post first in the race open for Premier class trotters on the 2,640m distance.
Fourteen horses took part in the Premier race.
Utah Hornline (Raymond Clifton) was the fastest trotter in the early stages but after 400m, this horse was overtaken by Nevaio des Bordes (Frank Portelli). The latter was in front until 150m from the finishing line when it changed its pace and was disqualified.
This paved the way for favourite True Q to claim the win.
Kakisis (Johan Axisa) was second ahead of Bello Fratello (Anthony Spagnol) and Wiss Night Hawk (Julian Farrugia).
The winner clocked an average time of 1.16.6” per kilometre.
In the first Gold class race of the afternoon, favourite Label Chouan (David Ellul) was unchallenged for most of the distance and registered its second successive win from Dialect Af Prinfo (Redent Magro), L’An Deux Milles (Chris Cassar) and Keeping Quality (Charles Magro).
Orlando Tejy (Noel Baldacchino) dashed strongly from the outside 500m from the finish line of the second Gold race.
This French ten-year-old triumphed easily by two lengths from Hulot (Jason Vassallo), Nicos de Peneme (Kevin Azzopardi) and Victory Toll (Julian Farrugia).
Yesterday’s card also included three races for Silver class trotters.
French newcomer Prince du Moutier (Raymond Schembri) led all the way in the first Silver race to chalk up its first win in Malta from Law Suit (Noel Baldacchino) and Family’s Moonlight (Ivan Bilocca).
Another French debutant, Pacha de Sassy (Carl Caruana) ended in fourth place.
West Life (Charles Camilleri) started to slow down around 250m from the end of the second Silver race and was eventually overtaken by Norfolk de Gouerie (Cliferty Calleja) which won a length from Newton du Pic (Redent Magro).
There was a close finish in the third Silver class race when Orphee Kadesh (Michael Ellul) and Lovely Mab (Noel Baldacchino) sprinted together in the final straight. It was the former which took its first win in Malta with Power Cape (Pierre Caruana) and My Gentleman (Mark Tanti) claiming the other top-four positions.
During yesterday’s meeting, young Gozitan driver Shawn Portelli was presented with a memento after being named best driver for January.
Portelli received the trophy from Malta Racing Club officials Tony Demanuele, Jason Vassallo and Joe Zerafa.
The next meeting is scheduled for Saturday, starting at 1.30 p.m.
Race 1: Copper, Noli de Marray (Patrick Spiteri).
Race 2: Bronze, Notre Joyeux (Charles Camilleri).
Race 3: Silver, Prince du Moutier (Raymond Schembri).
Race 4: Silver, Norfolk de Gouerie (Cliferty Calleja).
Race 5: Gold, Label Chouan (David Ellul).
Race 6: Silver, Orphee Kadesh (Michael Ellul).
Race 7: Premier, True Q (Shawn Portelli).
Race 8: Gold, Orlando Tejy (Noel Baldacchino).