French trotters take centre-stage at Marsa
Yesterday’s meeting at Marsa heralded the start of the Prix de Vincennes championship for French trotters from the Premier Class.
Nomade de Mai (Charles Camilleri) was fastest at first in the opening heat but slowed with some 450m to go. It was overtaken by favourite Mig of the Wood (Noel Baldacchino) which secured its second win of the season from Milord Barbes (Frenċu Cassar) and Nasko Pride (Christian Xerri).
A keen tussle developed in the final 200m of the second championship race. At the finish, it was Nono de Crouay (Melvin Farrugia) that crossed the line first but this horse was later disqualified and victory awarded to Nevaio des Bordes (Julian Farrugia).
Nuage de Bourgogne (Herman McKay) led all the way in the third Prix de Vincennes heat to chalk up its fifth straight win.
Mystere d’Urfist (Rodney Gatt), Nelson du Val (Salvu Cutajar) and Natieu d’Echal (Noel Baldacchino) also moved into the semi-finals.
Label Chouan (David Ellul) lived up to expectations by winning the fourth Premier Class race. This horse won for the fourth time this season after increasing pace with a lap to go.
Yesterday’s card also included a flat race on a short distance of 1,250m.
Here, the mare Mayfair Princess, mounted by Ramon Grima, was unchallenged in the last 400m and triumphed easily by three lengths from Irish newcomer Little Anthony (Demis Zammit).
During yesterday’s meeting, Gozitan driver Julian Farrugia was presented with the trophy for the best driver in April by Mario Farrugia, director of P&M Farrugia.
Last month, Farrugia finished first in six major races. The 48-year-old won with Delvin Brodde (twice), Nevaio des Bordes, Uptillbevis, Ironbar and Utah Hornline.
Another Gozitan driver and owner, Mario Bugeja, was also remembered yesterday.
Bugeja lost his life earlier in the day while working in his field in Xewkija.
The winners at Marsa
Race 1: Silver, Petrus du Vivier (Mark Desira).
Race 2: Silver, Ollico Pellois (Noel Baldacchino).
Race 3: Flat, Mayfair Princess (Ramon Grima).
Race 4: Gold, Ouragan d’Any (Frans Gauci).
Race 5: Premier, Mig Of The Wood (Noel Baldacchino).
Race 6: Gold, Marini du Mont (Salvu Vella).
Race 7: Premier, Nevaio des Bordes (Julian Farrugia).
Race 8: Gold, Nagano Phedo (Mario Fenech).
Race 9: Premier, Nuage de Bourgogne (Herman McKay).
Race 10: Gold, Oros de Reve (Charles Camilleri).
Race 11: Premier, Label Chouan (David Ellul).
Race 12: Gold, Magnifique Sablais (Julian Farrugia).