The third meeting of the season which was held yesterday afternoon at the Marsa Racetrack, heralded the start of the first championship of this season, the Assikura Championship for class Gold trotters.
In this championship, six heats were held on a short distance of 2140m, with four hourses qualifying from each heat.
Yesterday’s card also included a normal class Premier race on a long distance of 2640m, which was won by Jackhammer, driven by Rodney Gatt.
Gatt ended the best driver of the day with three wins.
Fourteen trotters lined up in the class Premier race. The early leader, Sultan De Renier (Patrick Spiteri) and Jackhammer (Rodney Gatt) sprinted neck and neck during the final straight, however the latter had the better and claimed the win, its first in Malta.
In the first class Gold heat, Hilda Nalan (Clint Vassallo) dashed strongly from the outside during the final straight and triumphed by half length from Tacticien Jiel (Anton Cassar) and French newcomer Tom Des Rivieres (Paul Galea).
Swedish Lajos Cella (Rodney Gatt) was outsmarted by French debutante Toumai (Jeffrey Said) midway through the final straight of the second heat from the same championship.
However, Toumai was later disqualified and the win was awarded to Gatt’s mare.
Another debutant from France Uveo De Maza (Noel Baldacchino, Tino De Tortiere (Salvu Cutajar) and Solid Du Jayle (Tony Cauchi) also progressed to the next stage.
In the third heat, there was a keen tussle between three trotters midway through the final straight.
It was Swan Des Tesnieres (Julian Farrugia) which secured its first win of the year from Mad Neo (Noel Baldacchino) and Hallas Judex (Charles Magro).
Un Vent d’Ouest (Noel Baldacchino) gained its second win in a row in the fourth heat.
This French ten year old trotter upped its pace during the last 600m and managed to win this race after sustaining the challenge of Tennis d’Anjou (Michael Ellul) in the final metres. Ultime Des Bordes (Wayne Farrugia) and Sir De L’Esque (Frankie Abdilla) finished respectively in third and fourth place.
In the fifth heat, Swedish newcomer Sam Forget (Nathaniel Barbara) was unchallenged for most of the 2140m distance of the race.
This eight year old mare took its first win in Malta from another debutante
from France Ugo Dacheux (Noel Baldacchino) and Staro Evergreen (Mark Tanti). Favorite Un Amour Du Pont (Andrew Farrugia) followed home in that order.
Temps Perdu (Herman McKay) dashed strongly from the outside during the last 700m of the sixth and last class Gold heat.
This trotter chalked up to its second win in Malta from Ubu De La Brosse (Salvu Vella), Dewey Luvs Britt (Paul Bonello) and Tonnerre De Retz (Julian Farrugia).
Another meeting at the Marsa Racetrack will be held on Saturday.
The first race should start at 1.30pm.
Race 1. Class Copper. Dist – 2640m. Cesar Du Buillon (Rodney Gatt) – 1.18.7”
Race 2. Class Copper. Dist – 2640m. Bolide Boy Honey (Jesmar Gafa’) – 1.19.3”
Race 3. Assikura Championship heat. Class Gold. Dist – 2140m. Hilda Nalan (Clint Vassallo) – 1.15.9”
Race 4. Assikura Championship heat. Class Gold. Dist – 2140m. Lajos Cella (Rodney Gatt) – 1.16.5”
Race 5. Assikura Championship heat. Class Gold. Dist – 2140m. Swan Des Tesnieres (Julian Farrugia) – 1.16.1”
Race 6. Assikura Championship heat. Class Gold. Dist – 2140m. Un Vent d’Ouest (Noel Baldacchino) – 1.16.6”
Race 7. Assikura Championship Heat. Class Gold. Dist – 2140m. Sam Forget (Nathaniel Barbara) – 1.17”
Race 8. Class Premier. Dist – 2640m. Jackhammer (Rodney Gatt) – 1.16.4”
Race 9. Assikura Championship Heat. Class Gold. Dist – 2140m. Temps Perdu (Herman McKay) – 1.15.7”