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Horse Racing, Malta, Times of Malta

Three race wins for Gozo driver Farrugia

Julian Farrugia looks behind as Utah Hornline speeds to victory. Photo: Matthew Mirabelli

Julian Farrugia looks behind as Utah Hornline speeds to victory. Photo: Matthew Mirabelli

As expected, the two semi-finals from the Skyparks Championship for Swedish horses in the Premier Class were the main attraction in yesterday’s meeting at the Marsa Racetrack.

The card consisted of 11 all-trotting races as the top events were won by Utah Hornline and True Q.

Julian Farrugia was the best driver of the afternoon with three wins.

Ten horses qualified for the final of the Premier championship.

In the first top race, it was newcomer Chaco Bar (James Carabott) that set the pace at first, opening a length’s lead from Nec Carmolo (Noel Baldacchino) and Utah Hornline (Julian Farrugia).

Baldacchino then put Nec Carmolo in front but this horse couldn’t sustain the challenge and slowed down some 400m from the post.

Eventually Nec Carmolo was overtaken by Utah Hornline which notched its first win of the year from the popular Livi Cantona (Charles Camilleri).

Think Yatzee (Clint Vassallo) and Skip Dimanche (Charlo Debono) also qualified for the final stage as Utah Hornline clocked an average time of 1.15.1 per kilometre.

Eleven horses took part in the second Premier semi-final.

Here, True Q (Shaun Portelli) and Wiss Night Hawk (Julian Farrugia) sprinted neck and neck in the last 300 metres before the former went on to gain its fourth win of the season.

Candy Fantasy (Melvin Farrugia), Belafonte (Charlo Debono) and Bello Fratello (Anthony Spagnol) followed behind in that order.

True Q did an average of 1.15.8 per kilometre.

In the first Gold semi-final, Hulot (Jason Vassallo) was overtaken only 50m from the finishing line by Stefan Sufflor (Anthony Bartolo) as a keen tussle between five horses developed in the next semi-final, won by Lover Boy Index (Noel Baldacchino) from Affe Fager (Brian Zammit).

Ironbar (Julian Farrugia) led all the way in the first Silver semi-final.

This horse cruised to its first win of the season by a length from Rambo Lambo (Claudio Refalo).

Farrugia also had a fine race in the other semi-final for Silver Class trotters with favourite Delvin Brodde.

The Gozitan driver put the winner in front with a lap to go as Delvin Brodde took its second win in a row from Victory Toll (Charles Camilleri).

Another programme of races will be held next Sunday.

Yesterday’s winners
Race 1: Bronze, Koko Loco (Jesmar Gafa).
Race 2: Silver, Nasdaq du Closet (Eugenio Zerafa).
Race 3: Silver, L’Alpha de Cosse (David Galea).
Race 4: Silver, Ironbar (Julian Farrugia).
Race 5: Silver, Delvin Brodde (Julian Farrugia).
Race 6: Gold, Stefan Sufflor (Anthony Bartolo).
Race 7: Premier, Utah Hornline (Julian Farrugia).
Race 8: Gold, Lover Boy Index (Noel Baldacchino).
Race 9: Premier, True Q (Shaun Portelli).
Race 10: Gold, L’Ideal de Fersan (Carl Caruana).
Race 11: Silver, Willesden Hanover (Wayne 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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