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Horse Racing, Malta, Times of Malta

Sleepwalking walks tall

Sleepwalking dashes past the post to win the Mediterranean Derby at Marsa yesterday. Inset: Jockey Demis Zammit lifts the trophy as MRC chairman Matthew Brincat applauds. Photos: Jason Borg

Sleepwalking dashes past the post to win the Mediterranean Derby at Marsa yesterday. Inset: Jockey Demis Zammit lifts the trophy as MRC chairman Matthew Brincat applauds. Photos: Jason Borg

English mare Sleepwalking won yesterday’s top event, the Mediterranean Derby final for flat horses on a long distance of 1,750m. This race was part of the 31st meeting of the season which was made up of nine events.

Six horses lined up for the Mediterranean Derby final. It was Fyelehk (Michael Sultana) that stormed out of the blocks, opening a length lead from Little Anthony, driven by Italian jockey Antonino Cannella, and Darielli (Ramon Grima).

But, with 500m to go, Fyelehk started to slow down and was eventually overtaken by Sleepwalking.

Ridden by Demis Zammit, Sleepwalking crossed the finish line two lengths clear of Little Anthony and Buttermilk, under the guidance of Demis’s brother, Eric Zammit.

Etoile du Pic, ridden by another Italian jockey, Giuseppe Bordonaro, was fourth. After the final, Matthew Brincat, the Malta Racing Club (MRC) chairman, presented the prestigious Med. Derby trophy to Zammit and Matthew Grech, owner of the winning mare.

Greta Fenech, representing Phoenician Glassblowers, also presented a trophy to Grech and Zammit.

In the only Premier Class race yesterday, Arnie Sensation (Carmelo Farrugia) led all the way to secure its second win of the year by half-a-length from Maximal Value (James Briffa).

Super Qui (Tony Demanuele) and Oscar de la Vallee (Sammy Micallef) were third and fourth respectively.

The winner clocked an average of 1.17.9” per kilometre.

Yesterday’s card also included two races for Gold Class trotters. In the first, Niky de Memartin (Jonathan Zammit) was first past the post but was disqualified.

Victory was awarded to Veikko Hornline (Carl Caruana) which claimed its first success in Malta from Reado November (Shaun Portelli).

Orion du Vaumicel (Frenċu Cassar) and Matin de Manche (Brian Hili) secured the other top-four positions.

Baron GL (Clint Vassallo) hit the front midway through the final straight of the second Gold race.

This Swedish eight-year-old crossed the finish line first from Noux Dix De L’Erve (Ludvic Ghigo), Ouistiti d’Anjou (Julian Farrugia) and Lovely Mab (Noel Baldacchino). For Vassallo, this was his second win of the day.

Winners at Marsa
Race 1: Bronze, Above Roland (George Attard) – 1.17.3”.
Race 2: Silver, Bella Notte (Eugenio Bondin) – 1.18.7”.
Race 3: Silver, Winner Farming (Julian Farrugia) – 1.18.9”.
Race 4: Silver, Rambo Lambo (Clint Vassallo) – 1.17.8”.
Race 5: Premier, Arnie Sensation (Carmelo Farrugia) – 1.17.9”.
Race 6: Gold, Veikko Hornline (Carl Caruana) – 1.15.6”.
Race 7: Mediterranean Derby Final (Flat), Sleepwalking (Demis Zammit) – 1.49.75”.
Race 8: Gold, Baron GL (Clint Vassallo) – 1.16.9”.
Race 9: Bronze, Rybo Juvel (Marco Refalo) – 1.17”.

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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