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Horse Racing

24 horses qualify for Tazza l-Kbira Semi Final

French newcomer Original Blue, driven by Chris Cassar, winning one of the heats held on Friday at the Marsa Race Track. (Photo : Il-Mument - Media.Link Communications)

French newcomer Original Blue, driven by Chris Cassar, winning one of the heats held on Friday at the Marsa Race Track. (Photo : Il-Mument – Media.Link Communications)

The 7th meeting of the season held on Friday evening at the Marsa Racetrack heralded the start of the Dragonara Casino Brasserie t-Tazza l-Kbira Championship with six heats on a long distance of 2640m. This programme consisted of ten races with the last event on the card being also a flat race.

From the six heats open for class Premier trotters, 24 horses moved to the semi final stage. In the first heat, Arnie Sensation (Carmelo Farrugia) started to slow down around 200m from the finishing line and was overtaken by French newcomer Original Blue (Chris Cassar) which secured its first win in Malta by half length from Night Inlet (Mario Baldacchino). Arnie Sensation finished third in front of Mig Of The Wood (Noel Baldacchino).

There was a close finish in the second heat when French debutante Ofackevo (Julian Farrugia) and Nicos de Peneme (Kevin Azzopardi) sprinted together in the final metres. The win was awarded to the latter after that the photofinish was consulted. Zilver Boko (Tony Demanuele) and Ouragan de Sita (Chris Cassar) also qualified for the semi final stage.

In the third heat, favourite Odedjalo (Noel Baldacchino) dashed strongly from the outside around 300m from the end and gained its second win in a row and in Malta easily by a length from another French newcomer, Okilaibo (Julian Farrugia). Popper Fighter (Charles Camilleri) and Kakisis (Johan Axisa) ended respectively in third and fourth place.
A keen tussle between three horses developed in the final straight of the fourth heat. It was Normand d’Oger (Cliferty Calleja) which cruised to its second consecutive win and its third in a row from Sultan November (Shawn Portelli) and Count of Life (Claudio Refalo). Nitesco d’Antony (David Ellul) ended fourth.

In the fifth heat, Nabab du Chatelet (Charles Camilleri) had to go all out in the final metres in order to secure its first win of the year from Versace Boko (Warren Spiteri). Simb Mark (Noel Baldacchino) and Carnegie Hall (Darren Mizzi) followed home in that order.

Quebec (Mark Mifsud) was outsmarted by favourite Nino de Saintho (Cliferty Calleja) midway through the final straight of the sixth heat. Nino de Saintho took its third win in a row and its second of the season with Beckham Bob (Charles Camilleri) and Fire (Marco Refalo) also progressing to the next stage.

The only flat race of the day was won by Italian Royal Fleece mounted by Oliver Briffa. Another meeting at the Marsa Racetrack will be held on Sunday 17th March. The first race should start at 1.30pm.

Friday’s winners

Race 1. Class Copper. Dist – 1640m. 1. Dandy (Robert Polidano) – 1.16.2”

Race 2. Class Bronze. Dist – 1640m. 1. Zeta Jones A (Noel Baldacchino) – 1.17.3”

Race 3. Heat Tazza l-Kbira. Class Open. Dist – 2640m. 1. Original Blue (Chris Cassar) – 1.16.4”

Race 4. Heat Tazza l-Kbira. Class Open Dist – 2640m. 1. Nicos de Peneme (Kevin Azzopardi) – 1.17”

Race 5. Heat Tazza l-Kbira. Class Open. Dist – 2640m. 1. Odedjalo (Noel Baldacchino) – 1.15.4”

Race 6. Heat Tazza l-Kbira. Class Open. Dist – 2640m. 1. Normand d’Oger (Cliferty Calleja) – 1.16.4”

Race 7. Heat Tazza l-Kbira. Class Open. Dist – 2640m. 1. Nabab du Chatelet (Charles Camilleri) – 1.15.7”

Race 8. Heat Tazza l-Kbira. Class Open. Dist – 2640m. 1. Nino de Saintho (Cliferty Calleja) – 1.16.8”

Race 9. Class Silver. Dist – 1640m. 1. Mr Snowman (Charles Camilleri) – 1.16.4”

Race 10. Class Flat. Dist – 1750m. 1. Royal Fleece (Oliver Briffa) – 1.50.6”

Ikunu maghrufa s-semi finalisti tat-Tazza l-Kbira

Il-Gimgha fil-ghaxija fil-korsa tal-Marsa nghata l-bidu ghall-kompetizzjoni tat-Tazza l-Kbira organizzata bl-ghajnuna ta’ Dragonara Casino and Brasserie. Dan permezz ta’ sitt heats ghal zwiemel mill-klassijiet Premier u Gold fuq distanza twila ta’ 2640m u li kienu jaghmlu parti mis-seba’ laqgha tal-istagun fuq ghaxar tigrijiet. Mis-sitt heats tat-Tazza l-Kbira 24 ziemel ghaddew ghas-semi finali.

Fl-ewwel heat, Arnie Sensation (Carmelo Farrugia), li mar quddiem f’nofs id-distanza, ceda kollox meta z-zwiemel daru ghad-dritta finali. Dan inqabez mid-debuttant Franciz Orginal Blue (Chris Cassar) li rebah b’tul minn Night Inlet (Mario Baldacchino). Arnie Sensation kellu jikkuntenta bit-tielet post filwaqt li Mig Of The Wood (Noel Baldacchino) spicca fir-raba’ pozizzjoni.

Dwell interessanti bejn Nicos de Peneme (Kevin Azzopardi) u l-gdid Franciz Ofackevo (Julian Farrugia) fit-tieni heat tal-istess kompetizzjoni wassal lil tal-ewwel biex jiehu l-ewwel rebha tas-sena. Zilver Boko (Tony Demanuele) u Ouragan de Sita (Chris Cassar) ghaddew ukoll ghall-fazi li jmiss.

Fit-tielet heat, il-favorit Odedjalo (Noel Baldacchino) ma sab ebda diffikulta’ biex jiehu t-tieni rebha konsekuttiva u f’Malta wara sprint qawwi fl-ahhar metri. Dan minn ziemel gdid iehor Franciz Okilaibo (Julian Farrugia). Poppes Fighter (Charles Camilleri) u Kakisis (Johan Axisa) kellhom ukoll pjazzament pozittiv. F’din il-heat, is-sorpriza kienet l-eliminazzjoni tal-kwotat Oran.

B’kuntrast, ir-raba’ heat kienet ferm kumbattuta fejn Normand d’Oger (Cliferty Calleja) u Sultan November (Shawn Portelli) spiccaw ras imb ras. Kien tal-ewwel li bi ftit akkwista t-tielet rebha konsekuttiva u t-tieni wahda tas-sena b’Count Of Life (Claudio Refalo) u Nitesco d’Antony (David Ellul) jikkwalifikaw ukoll ghas-semi finali.

Il-hames heat kienet ohra eccitanti u ndeciza sat-tmiem. Hawnhekk Nabab du Chatelet (Charles Camilleri) irritorna ghar-rebh wara assenza ta’ ftit xhur. Dan fl-ahhar metri u bi tbatija, qabez bi ftit lil Versace Boko (Warren Spiteri). Simb Mark (Noel Baldacchino) u Carnegie Hall (Darren Mizzi) kellhom ukoll wirja tajba.

Is-sewwieq zaghzugh Cliferty Calleja rega kien protagonist fis-sitta u l-ahhar heat tal-kompetizzjoni permezz ta’ Nino de Saintho, ziemel iehor li gej mill-istess stalel ta’ Michael Zammit li ghandu wkoll rebbieh iehor, Normand d’Oger. F’din it-tigrija Nino de Saintho ha t-tielet rebha konsekuttiva u t-tieni tas-sena wara li propju fuq il-linja finali qabez bi ftit lil Quebec (Mark Mifsud). Beckham Bob (Charles Camilleri) u Fire (Marco Refalo) kienu l-ahhar zewg zwiemel li ghaddew ghas-semi finali.

Fl-uniku tigrija tal-klassi Silver, Mr Snowman (Charles Camilleri) temm rebbieh wara attakk mibdi 500m mit-tmiem filwaqt li f’dik Bronze, id-debuttanta Olandiza Zeta Jones A (Noel Baldacchino) irregistrat l-ewwel rebha f’Malta wara taqtiegha fl-ahhar metri ma’ Brokkur TYC (Peter Farrugia) u Divinis (Charles Magro). Il-laqgha fethet b’tigrija tal-klassi Copper. Hawnhekk, Dandy (Robert Polidano) ha l-ewwel rebha stagonali wara li kien il-hin kollu quddiem. L-uniku tigrija tal-galopp intrebhet mit-Taljan Royal Fleece (Oliver Briffa) wara rimonta fl-ahhar 500m.

Ir-rizultati kollha.

I Tigrija. Klassi Copper. Dist – 1640m. 1. Dandy (R. Polidano) Hin – 2.04.9” (1.16.2”) 2. Navaroso de Khepri (D. Ellul) 3. Orasi Index (K. Sciberras) 4. Loulou de la Rose (C. Caruana)

II Tigrija. Klassi Bronze. Dist – 1640m. 1. Zeta Jones A (N. Baldacchino) Hin – 2.06.7” (1.17.3”) 2. Brokkur TYC (P. Farrugia) 3. Divinis (C. Magro) 4. Kaki de Peyrahout (D. Mizzi)

III Tigrija. Heat Tazza l-Kbira. Klassi Open. Dist – 2640m. 1. Orginal Blue (C. Cassar) Hin – 3.21.8” (1.16.4”) 2. Night Inlet (M. Baldacchino) 3. Arnie Sensation (C. Farrugia) 4. Mig Of The Wood (N. Baldacchino)

IV Tigrija. Heat Tazza l-Kbira. Klassi Open. Dist – 2640m. 1. Nicos de Peneme (K. Azzopardi) Hin – 3.23.2” (1.17”) 2. Ofackevo (J. Farrugia) 3. Zilver Boko (T. Demanuele) 4. Ouragan de Sita (C. Cassar)

V Tigrija. Heat Tazza l-Kbira. Klassi Open. Dist – 2640m. 1. Odedjalo (N. Baldacchino) Hin – 3.19.1” (1.15.4”) 2. Okilaibo (J. Farrugia) 3. Poppes Fighter (C. Camilleri) 4. Kakisis (J. Axisa)

VI Tigrija. Heat Tazza l-Kbira. Klassi Open. Dist – 2640m. 1. Normand d’Oger (C. Calleja) Hin – 3.21.7” (1.16.4”) 2. Sultan November (S. Portelli) 3. Count Of Life (C. Refalo) 4. Nitesco d’Antony (D. Ellul)

VII Tigrija. Heat Tazza l-Kbira. Klassi Open. Dist – 2640m. 1. Nabab du Chatelet (C. Camilleri) Hin – 3.19.9” (1.15.7”) 2. Versace Boko (W. Spiteri) 3. Simb Mark (N. Baldacchino) 4. Carnegie Hall (D. Mizzi)

VIII Tigrija. Heat Tazza l-Kbira. Klassi Open. Dist – 2640m. 1. Nino de Saintho (C. Calleja) Hin – 3.22.8” (1.16.8”) 2. Quebec (M. Mifsud) 3. Beckham Bob (C. Camilleri) 4. Fire (M. Refalo)

IX Tigrija. Klassi Silver. Dist – 1640m. 1. Mr Snowman (C. Camilleri) Hin – 2.05.3” (1.16.4”) 2. Ocean Brillouard (N. Baldacchino) 3. Mealington (C. Caruana) 4. Cross Country FC (M. Debono)

X Tigrija. Klassi Galopp. Dist – 1750m. 1. Royal Fleece (O. Briffa) Hin – 1.50.6” 2. Buttermilk (E. Zammit) 3. Little Anthony (D. Zammit)

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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