The series of Summer Championship races at the Marsa Racetrack, open for trotters from various classes, wrapped up late Friday with seven exciting finals, all held over a short distance of 2,140m.
The Premier Class race was the top event on the card. Outsider Milord Barbes, under the guidance of veteran Frenċu Cassar, defied the odds to claim victory, the first for this trotter this season.
Twelve horses lined up for this final. It was Mont Cenis Honey (Noel Baldacchino) that made the fastest start, opening a length’s lead from Milord Barbes and Power Night Star (Mario Falzon).
But with 300m to go, Mont Cenis Honey started to slow its pace and was eventually overtaken by Milord Barbes which went on to secure victory ahead of Power Night Star and Veikko Hornline (Carl Caruana).
Milord Barbes, owned by George Debono, clocked a remarkable average time of 1.14.6” per kilometre.
Nacarat Campbell (Rodney Gatt) upped its pace from the outside 400m from the end of the Gold Class final. This horse went on to seal its second win on the trot, half-a-length ahead of Orion du Vaumicel (Frenċu Cassar) and Pouvoir Magique (Noel Baldacchino). Key Value (Mark Tanti) was fourth.
On Friday, Cal Win (Shaun Portelli) gained its second win at Marsa after coming home first in the Silver Class race.
Cal Win, a Swedish seven-year-old, stormed clear of the field with some 600m to go and beat Bankir Zon (Clint Vassallo) to the post. Orage du Pont (Charles Camilleri) and Onwards Star (Redent Magro) completed the top-four order.
Favourite Quouky du Soir (Redent Magro) had to go all out in the last 500 metres to claim its third win in a row in the Bronze Class final. Polytain (Noel Baldacchino) was second ahead of Obelix Blue (Salvu Vella) and One Fouteau (Jonathan Zammit).
There was a tight finish in the Copper race as no fewer than six horses dashed for the post on the same line in the final 200 metres.
At the finish, it was Loulou de la Rose (Michael Ellul) that took its second win of the season from Icare de Jemma (Tony Demanuele), Jeo de Touvois (Chris Vassallo) and Orasi Index (Kevin Sciberras).
Meanwhile, Ouragan de Crouay (Larson Mifsud) led all the way in the consolation final for Silver trotters and there was another win for Cassar in the Bronze consolation final with Orio de Marancourt.
The owners and drivers of the winning horses on Friday were presented with mementoes and trophies by MRC officials Matthew Brincat, Mark Vella and Marco Millo.
The season will resume in September after the summer break.
Race 1: Bronze, Orio de Marancourt (Frenċu Cassar) – 1.18.1”
Race 2: Copper, Loulou de la Rose (Michael Ellul) – 1.17.6”
Race 3: Silver, Ouragan de Crouay (Larson Mifsud) – 1.17.6”
Race 4: Bronze, Quouky du Soir (Redent Magro) – 1.16.4”
Race 5: Gold, Nacarat Campbell (Rodney Gatt) – 1.16.1”
Race 6: Premier, Milord Barbes (Frenċu Cassar) – 1.14.6”
Race 7: Silver, Cal Win (Shaun Portelli) – 1.16.1”