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Horse Racing, In-Nazzjon, Malta, Times of Malta, Trot

Lage triumphs in Premier race

Lage driven by Marco Refalo winning the class Premier race on Sunday (Photo In-Nazzjon- Media.Link Communications)

Lage driven by Marco Refalo winning the class Premier race on Sunday (Photo In-Nazzjon- Media.Link Communications)

Sunday’s third Winter meeting held at the Marsa Racetrack heralded the start of the Assikura Championship for class Gold trotters with five heats on a short distance of 2140m. This programme consisted of nine races all for trotters and included a normal class Premier race on a long distance. The class Premier race was won by Lage driven by Gozitan Marco Refalo.

Twelve horses participated in the class Premier race. It was Zwack (Eric Bezzina) which made the fastest start, opening a small lead from Opal Hall (Tony Mallia) and Lage. However, with 500m to go the early pacesetter ran out of steam and in the final straight got outsmarted by Lage which under the guidance of Marco Refalo returned to its winning form after an absence of a year and a half. Lage took its first win of the year from Italian mare Madam Di Poggio (Julian Farrugia). Quobernador (Matthew Sammut) and Pike Blue (Mario Farrugia) followed home in that order. The winner clocked an average time of 1.17” per kilometer.

From the five class Gold heats, twenty horses qualified for the semi final stage. In the first heat, Nagano Phedo (Mario Fenech) upped its pace with 300m to go and past the post first. However this French trotter was later disqualified by the racing stewards and the win was awarded to the favourite Starfirefinnfemfel (Julian Farrugia) which secured its second win in a row.

As expected, favourite Lover Roc (Jurgen Attard) shot into the lead around 400m from the finishing line of the second class Gold heat. This Italian trotter continued to run untroubled till the end of the race and notched to its third consecutive win and easily by six lenghts from Mont Cenis Honey (Clint Vassallo).

In the third heat, favourite Record Du Mexique (Marvin Cauchi) took the lead with a lap to go. However, in the final straight this French trotter had to go all out to gain its fifth win in a row from Prince Gaillard (Charles Camilleri). Another French trotter, newcomer Quito De Neret registered its first win in Malta in the fourth class Gold heat. Driven by Noel Baldacchino, Quito De Neret ran untroubled in the final straight and triumphed by five lenghts from Troy Boshoeve (Salvu Vella).

In the fifth and last class Gold heat there was a close finish between three trotters. The win was awarded to Pepone Du Castelet (Charles Camilleri) after that the photofinish was consulted by the stewards. Quermes Rush (Noel Baldacchino) ended second.

Another meeting at the Marsa Racetrack will be held next Sunday. The first race should start at 1.30pm.

Sunday’s winners.

Race 1. Class Bronze. Dist – 2640m. 1. Quipo Du Tronquay (Mario Borg) – 1.20.3”

Race 2. Class Bronze. Dist – 2640m. 1. Super Visor (Christian Xerri) – 1.19.7”

Race 3. Assikura Championship Heat. Class Gold. Dist – 2140m. 1. Starfirefinnfemfel (Julian Farrugia) – 1.17.9”

Race 4. Assikura Championship Heat. Class Gold. Dist – 2140m. 1. Lover Roc (Jurgen Attard) – 1.17.3”

Race 5. Assikura Championship Heat. Class Gold. Dist – 2140m. 1. Record Du Mexique (Marvin Cauchi) – 1.17.9”

Race 6. Assikura Championship Heat. Class Gold. Dist – 2140m. 1. Quito De Neret (Noel Baldacchino) – 1.17”

Race 7. Class Premier. Dist – 2640m. 1. Lage (Marco Refalo) – 1.17”

Race 8. Assikura Championship Heat. Class Gold. Dist – 2140m. 1. Pepone Du Castelet (Charles Camilleri) – 1.18.2”

Race 9. Class Silver. Dist – 2640m. 1. Quid De Belle Vue (Martin Grech) – 1.17.9”

L-ewwel success tas-sena ghal Lage fil-Premier

Il-Hadd wara nofsinhar fil-korsa tal-Marsa nghata l-bidu ghall-kampjonat Assikura ghal zwiemel tal-klassi Gold. Dan permezz ta’ hames heats fuq distanza qasira ta’ 2140m u li kienu jaghmlu parti mit-tielet laqgha tax-Xitwa fuq disa’ tigrijiet kollha ghal tat-trott. Il-laqgha nkludiet ukoll tigrija normali tal-klassi Premier fuq distanza twila ta’ 2640m u li ntrebhet minn Lage misjuq mill-Ghawdxi Marco Refalo li rritorna ghas-success wara sena u nofs.

Fl-uniku tigrija Premier grew b’kollox tnax –il ziemel. Kien Zwack (Eric Bezzina) l-aktar veloci wara l-karozza tat-tluq. Matul l-ewwel metri dan iz-ziemel fetah vantagg zghir minn Opal Hall (Tony Mallia) u Lage. Izda l-andament tat-tigrija nbidel xi ftit meta z-zwiemel daru biex jaffrontaw id-dritta finali. Kien f’dak il-hin li Zwack beda jnaqqas mill-giri u dlonk inqabez minn Lage li f’idejn Marco Refalo ha l-ewwel rebha stagonali mit-Taljana Madam Di Poggio (Julian Farrugia). Quobernador (Matthew Sammut) u Pike Blue (Mario Farrugia) dahlu warajhom f’dik l-ordni. Intant ir-rebbieh kellu medja ta’ 1.17” fil-kilometru.

Mill-hames heats Gold ghoxrin ziemel ghaddew ghas-semi finali. Fl-ewwel heat, Pile Ou Face (Joe Schembri) beda jnaqqas mill-giri madwar 300m mit-tmiem u dlonk inqabez fost l-ohrajn minn Nagano Phedo (Mario Fenech) li qasam il-linja finali l-ewwel. Izda aktar tard, dan gie skwalifikat biex ir-rebha nghatat lill-favorit Starfirefinnfemfel (Julian Farrugia) li ha t-tieni rebha nfila. L-ahhar 500m tat-tieni heat Gold kienu determinanti biex il-kwotat Taljan Lover Roc (Jurgen Attard) jakkwista t-tielet rebha konsekuttiva. Dan facilment b’sitt tulijiet minn Mont Cenis Honey (Clint Vassallo).

Fit-tielet heat mill-istess kompetizzjoni, il-favorit Record Du Mexique (Marvin Cauchi) beda jzid fil-giri u mar quddiem madwar dawra mit-tmiem. Izda dan iz-ziemel seta’ jirregistra l-hames rebha nfila tieghu wara li fl-ahhar metri rnexxilu jirrezisti l-assalt ta’ Prince Gaillard (Charles Camilleri). Ziemel iehor Franciz, id-debuttant Quito De Neret, ha l-ewwel success tieghu f’pajjizna fir-raba’ heat. Dan kellu sprint qawwi fid-dritta finali u rebah bla tbatija b’distakk ta’ hames tulijiet minn Troy Boshoeve (Salvu Vella).

Il-hames u l-ahhar heat kienet ikkaratterizzata minn tmiem incert bejn tliet zwiemel fid-dritta finali. Kien Pepone Du Castelet (Charles Camilleri) li temm rebbieh minn Quermes Rush (Noel Baldacchino).

Ir-rizultati kollha.

I Tigrija. Klassi Bronze. Dist – 2640m. 1. Quipo Du Tronquay (M. Borg) Hin – 3.32.1” (1.20.3”) 2. Tap Tiara (N. Baldacchino) 3. Quatrain De Retz (A. Catania) 4. Niko De Chamant (V. Fenech)

II Tigrija. Klassi Bronze. Dist – 2640m. 1. Super Visor (C. Xerri) Hin – 3.30.4” (1.19.7”) 2. Eject (R. Magro) 3. Noble Raun (C. Farrugia) 4. Orio De Marancourt (F. Cassar)

III Tigrija. Heat Kampjonat Assikura. Klassi Gold. Dist – 2140m. 1. Starfirefinnfemfel (J. Farrugia) Hin – 2.46.4” (1.17.9”) 2. Quel Homme (N. Baldacchino) 3. Carnegie Hall (R. Magro) 4. Pile Ou Face (J. Schembri)

IV Tigrija. Heat Kampjonat Assikura. Klassi Gold. Dist – 2140m. 1. Lover Roc (J. Attard) Hin – 2.45.5” (1.17.3”) 2. Mont Cenis Honey (C. Vassallo) 3. Sobel Goldie (J. Farrugia) 4. Sigurd Palema (M. Falzon)

V Tigrija. Heat Kampjonat Assikura. Klassi Gold. Dist – 2140m. 1. Record Du Mexique (M. Cauchi) Hin – 2.46.6” (1.17.9”) 2. Prince Gaillard (C. Camilleri) 3. Quel Imprevu (C. Micallef) 4. Poulot Des Cinty (C. Vassallo)

VI Tigrija. Heat Kampjonat Assikura. Klassi Gold. Dist – 2140m. 1. Quito De Neret (N. Baldacchino) Hin – 2.44.7” (1.17”) 2. Troy Boshoeve (S. Vella) 3. Wies Buitenzorg (E. Bezzina) 4. Argus Hanover (M. Ellul)

VII Tigrija. Klassi Premier. Dist – 2640m. 1. Lage (M. Refalo) Hin – 3.23.2” (1.17”) 2. Madam Di Poggio (J. Farrugia) 3. Quobernador (M. Sammut) 4. Pike Blue (M. Farrugia)

VIII Tigrija. Heat Kampjonat Assikura. Klassi Gold. Dist – 2140m. 1. Pepone Du Castelet (C. Camilleri) Hin – 2.47.4” (1.18.2”) 2. Quermes Rush (N. Baldacchino) 3. Ofackevo (J. Farrugia) 4. Cowboy Party (C. Cassar)

IX Tigrija. Klassi Silver. Dist – 2640m. 1. Quid De Belle Vue (M. Grech) Hin – 3.25.6” (1.17.9”) 2. Sjohultets Goofy (N. Baldacchino) 3. Famous Faberge (M. Fenech) 4. Seigneur Du Dropt (M. Sultana)

“Lage qieghed isib il-forma tal-passat” – Marco Refalo, sewwieq

Fi tmiem it-tigrija Premier kellimt lis-sewwieq taz-ziemel rebbieh, Lage, iz-zghazugh Marco Refalo. Dan ikkummenta mieghi li kien kuntent li z-ziemel irritorna ghas-success wara nuqqas ta’ sena u nofs. “Matul l-ahhar xhur ilna nippreparaw iz-ziemel intensament biex ikun kompetittiv. Kuntent hafna li ftit ftit iz-ziemel jidher li qieghed isib il-forma tal-passat. Nittama li fil-gimghat li gejjin Lage ikompli juri aktar titjieb halli jkun aktar kompetittiv u certament ix-xoghol u s-sagrificcji li ghamilna fx-xhur li ghaddew qieghed ihallu l-frott,” tenna Refalo.

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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