The 2018 horse racing season got under way yesterday at the Marsa Racetrack with the first meeting of the year that consisted of ten races all for trotters.
The major event was the Malta Racing Champion Trotter for class Premier trotters, held on a short distance of 2,140m, and won by Italian Overtaker By Sib.
Four other finals were held yesterday for class Gold, Silver, Bronze and Copper trotters. Rodney Gatt managed to win two of these finals.
Ten horses lined up for the class Premier final.
It was Ruy Blas d’Ariane (Rodney Gatt) the fastest horse at first, opening a small lead from Unrefundable (Anton Cassar) and Tonio Du Vivier (Charles Camilleri).
With a lap to go, Service Secret (Andrew Farrugia), together with favourite Overtaker By Sib (Marco Refalo) started to up their pace.
Service Secret and Overtaker By Sib took the lead with 400 metres to go and sprinted neck and neck.
In the end it was Marco Refalo who put his trotter in front as Overtaker By Sib gained its 21st win in Malta from Tonio Du Vivier while Service Secret had to settle for third place.
During the last two years, Overtaker By Sib finished as the most consistent horse of the season and in 2017 this Italian trotter also won a similar final and the Tazza l-Kbira.
In the class Gold final it was French Tenor Orange (Rodney Gatt) that led all the way. The 11-year-old trotter cruised to its fifth successive win after staving off the challenge of Lajos Cella (Charles Camilleri) in the final straight.
Hallas Judex (Charles Magro) and Quartz De Gautiers (Cliferty Calleja) followed behind in that order.
In the class Silver final, there was a keen tussle between Sambuca Knick (Charles Camilleri) and Big Finish (Rodney Gatt).
It was the former that sealed its seventh win in Malta with Lajos Bellan (Noel Baldacchino) and Urido (Paul Galea) filling the other top four positions.
Swedish mare Dehande (Rodney Gatt) led all the way during the class Bronze final to secure its first win of the year from Roc Magister (Kirsten Axisa) and Ugolin Di Rib (Kirsten Gialanze’).
Celebre Sublignais (Andrew Farrugia) also obtained a positive placing when finishing fourth.
Coup De Vent (Michael Axisa) ran out of steam in the closing stages of the class Copper final.
This French six-year-old trotter was overtaken by Belle Ludoise (Noel Baldacchino) which went on to win by half length for its first win in Malta. Bolide Boy Honey (Jesmar Gafa’) and Very Crazy Quick (Dylan Baldacchino) ended in third and fourth place respectively.
During yesterday’s meeting, Rodney Gatt received the accolade of best driver for 2017 while Paul Galea topped the U-25 category.
Another meeting will be held next Sunday starting at 1.15pm.
Race 1. Class Copper – Caprice Normand (Paul Galea) – 1.19.4”
Race 2. Class Copper – Runway (Alan Barun) – 1.20.2”
Race 3. MRC Champion Trotter Final, Class Copper – Belle Ludoise (Noel Baldacchino) – 1.19.8”
Race 4. MRC Champion Trotter Final, Class Bronze – Dehande (Rodney Gatt) – 1.17.4”
Race 5. Class Gold – Vif Ludois (Charles Debono) – 1.17.7”
Race 6. MRC Champion Trotter final, Class Silver – Sambuca Knick (Charles Camilleri) – 1.17.3”
Race 7. MRC Champion Trotter Final, Class Premier – Overtaker By Sib (Marco Refalo) – 1.15.8”
Race 8. Class Gold – Un Vent d’Ouest (Noel Baldacchino) – 1.17.8”
Race 9. MRC Champion Trotter final, Class Gold – Tenor Orange (Rodney Gatt) - 1.17”
Race 10. Class Gold – Un Amour Du Pont (Andrew Farrugia) – 1.20.1”
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