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Horse Racing, Malta, Times of Malta

Lover Boy Index strikes gold

Lover Boy Index won the top event during the 24th meeting of the season at the Marsa Racetrack yesterday.

Driven by Noel Baldacchino, Lover Boy Index claimed first place in the Skyparks Championship final for Swedish trotters from the Gold class and run on the short distance of 2,140m.

Yesterday’s programme comprised eight events, including three other finals from the Skyparks Championships.

The Gold final was contested by nine trotters. Hulot (Jason Vassallo) was the fastest horse early on, opening a length lead from Kingpin La Marc (Clint Vassallo) and Matador Knick (Carmelo Farrugia).

Lover Boy Index began to increase its speed with a lap to go, setting up a keen tussle involving three horses in the final straight.

It was Lover Boy Index which secured its second win of the season by half-a-length from Stefan Sufflor (Anthony Bartolo) and Matador Knick (Farrugia). Magnific As (Ivan Bilocca) was fourth.

After the final, MRC chairman Matthew Brincat presented the winning trophy to Victor Aquilina and Baldacchino, owner and driver respectively of Lover Boy Index.

In the Silver class final, Victory Farming (Frank Portelli) stormed through from the outside in the final straight to gain its second win of the year from Bankir Zon (Clint Vassallo).

Delvin Brodde (Julian Farrugia) and Ironbar (Baldacchino) followed home in that order.

Nicole LH (Vassallo) dashed strongly from the outside 200m from the end of the Bronze class final. This eight-year-old mare obtained its second consecutive win in Malta, finishing ahead of Mr King (Frans Tanti), Family’s Moonlight (Bilocca) and Rally Simb (James Briffa).

In the Copper final, Upptillbevis (Julian Farrugia) took the lead with a lap to go and maintained its position till the end. But, this horse was disqualified by the judges who awarded the win to Trick The Lind (Baldacchino).

Emil Brebro (Brian Zammit), Pine Wood Harry (Cliferty Calleja) and Dollar As (Salvu Vella) claimed the other top-four positions.

Yesterday’s card included three normal races for Gold class trotters. In the first race, Soren Sufflor (Rodney Gatt) registered its third win of the year after raising its speed in the final 300 metres.

Gozitan driver Julian Farrugia won the second and third Gold races, first with Side Spin, which led all the way, and then with She’s Dreamlike which stormed clear of the field with 400m to go.

Nagano Phedo (Mario Fenech) surged ahead 600m from the end of the fourth Gold race to obtain its second win.

On Friday, another racing programme will be held at Marsa with the first race starting at 6.30 p.m.

Portelli second in Naples

Young Gozitan driver Shaun Portelli represented Malta in one of the heats from the Mediterranean Championship, held yesterday at the Agnano Racetrack in Naples.

Portelli drove Italian trotter Igor d’Asolo to second place behind winner Levante Laser, driven by Pavel Zadel.

Yesterday’s winners

Race 1: Gold, Soren Sufflor (R. Gatt) – 1.16.9”.
Race 2: Gold, Side Spin (J. Farrugia) – 1.16.2”.
Race 3: Gold, She’s Dreamlike (J. Farrugia) – 1.16.1”.
Race 4: Skyparks Championship Final (Copper), Trick The Lind (N. Baldacchino) – 1.18.1”.
Race 5: Skyparks Championship Final (Bronze), Nicole LH (C. Vassallo) – 1.16.9”.
Race 6: Skyparks Championship Final (Silver), Victory Farming (F. Portelli) – 1.15.9”.
Race 7: Skyparks Championship Final (Gold), Lover Boy Index (N. Baldacchino) – 1.15.5”.
Race 8: Gold, Nagano Phedo (M. Fenech) – 1.15.3”.

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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