Camilleri third in Cagnes Sur Mer race
Malta’s representative at the fifth leg of the Mediterranean Horse Racing Championship for Trotters, Charles Camilleri, did well to finish third in last week’s Prix de la Mediterranee held at the Cagnes Sur Mer hippodrome in France.
Riding one of the outsiders, Organdina, Camilleri, the top driver in Malta in 2009, started the race positioned at the back of the field. After the first 500 metres, Organdina started to pick up positions following up on favourite Opalin, driven by Frenchman Jean Paul Fasquelle.
In the meantime, Italian driver Attilio Golia, the championship leader, was heading the race with Oregon Cerise.
With 600 metres to go, and as the speed was increasing, Opalin attacked on the outside, with Oregon Cerise breaking pace under the pressure. Oriad Lesmelchen, driven by Serbian Vladimir Belogrlic, finished strongly and went on to win by a small margin.
Non-championship trotter Papy de Cesny was second with Organdina third.
“It was not easy to drive Organdina at the hippodrome,” Camilleri said.
“This trotter was limited in speed and was not in good form. Organdina could have easily got disqualified had it broken pace. In the end, however, third place is a very good result. The trainer called me after the race saying it was the horse’s best result for some time.”
For the Prix de la Mediterranee, the Malta Racing Club was represented by Mark Vella.
“We are very proud of Camilleri’s performance which once again proves that our level of horse racing drivers is at its highest at the moment,” he said.
Malta now stands in second place in the championship with a very good chance to clinching the title. With the Croatia leg of the championship cancelled, the last race will be held in Russia at the end of this month.
Race result: 1. Oriad Lesmelchen (V. Belogrlic); 2. Papy de Cesny (J.L. Estable); 3. Organdina (C. Camilleri); 4. Post Scriptum (D. Zorko); 5. Opalin (J.P. Fasquelle); 6. Pelito (I. Serik).