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Prieure and Pronostic De Neige triumph in Premier semi-finals

Michael Axisa leads Pronostic De Neige to victory at Marsa, yesterday. Photo: Darrin Zammit Lupi

Michael Axisa leads Pronostic De Neige to victory at Marsa, yesterday. Photo: Darrin Zammit Lupi

The two semi-finals from the Prix De Vincennes championship, reserved for Premier class trotters, topped the racing card at the Marsa racetrack when the 26th meeting of the season was held yesterday.

From the two top-class semi-finals, eight horses booked their place in the final with Prieure and Pronostic De Neige securing victory in their respective races.

In the opening heat of this championship, Prieure (Charles Camilleri) confirmed its favourite status when it stormed ahead with a lap to go.

The French eleven-year-old continued to increase its speed during the last metres and managed to fend off the challenge of Pouloud Keroc’H (Chris Vassallo) to secure the win.

Perceval (Frenċu Cassar) and Royal Pierre (Noel Baldacchino) also made it to the final after finishing respectively in third and fourth place.

It was the third win in a row for Prieure which clocked a good average time of 1.14.5”/km.

In the second semi-final, Pronostic De Neige, under the guidance of its owner Michael Axisa, dashed strongly from the inside towards the home stretch to gain its first win on the Maltese islands by a length from Oltedo De Rieux (Charles Camilleri) and Oran (Julian Farrugia).

Quoky Jet (Emmanuel Garzia) followed behind and also qualified for the final.

Pronostic De Neige clocked an average time of 1.14.6” per kilometre.

Rodney Gatt put favourite Quart De Cidre in front with 1,000m to the finishing line of the first semi -final from the Prix d’Enghien Championship for class Gold trotters.

This French trotter never relinquished its position and eased to its second consecutive win by more than three lengths from Oeillet De Phens (Charles Camilleri) and Quito Soyer (Noel Baldacchino).

Ollico Pellois (Ludvic Ghigo) and Nagano Phedo (Mario Fenech) followed home in that order.

A keen duel developed in the final metres of the second class Gold semi final.

It was Quintet (Brian Zammit) which went past the post first but this trotter was later disqualified by the racing stewards and the win was awarded to Quel Noir (Charles Degiorgio).

Pile Ou Face (Joe Schembri), Quel Imprevu (Carmelo Micallef), Pissaro (Clint Vassallo) and Pepone Du Castelet (Rodney Gatt) also obtained a good placing.

For Quel Noir this was its first win in Malta.

During yesterday’s programme, Prieure’s owners Julian Bezzina and Joseph Borg were presented with a memento after the French trotter, driven by Charles Camilleri, became Malta’s fastest horse when clocking an average time of 1.12.7” on May 4.

Another meeting at the Marsa Racetrack will be held next Saturday

This meeting will include the Sette Giugno Championship final for other class Premier trotters on a short distance of 2,140m.

The first race is scheduled for 1.45pm.

Yesterday’s winners

Race 1. Class Copper – Ronin Del Brenta (Salvu Vella) – 1.18.1”.
Race 2. Prix De Cagnes Sur Mer Championship SF – Roff Gy (Noel Baldacchino) – 1.16.8” .
Race 3. Prix De Cagnes Sur Mer Championship SF – Pacha De Sassy (Omar Cauchi) – 1.16.5”.
Race 4. Prix De Cabourg Championship SF – Reve Du Solnan (Clive Gerada) – 1.15.8”.
Race 5. Prix De Vincennes Championship Heat – Prieure (Charles Camilleri) – 1.14.5”.
Race 6. Prix D’Enghien Championship SF – Quart De Cidre (Rodney Gatt) – 1.14.4”.
Race 7. Prix De Cabourg Championship SF – Quid Pierre (Cliferty Calleja) – 1.15.8”.
Race 8. Prix De Vincennes Championship Heat – Pronostic De Neige (Michael Axisa) - 1.14.6”.
Race 9. Prix D’Enghien Championship SF Class Gold – Quel Noir (Charles Degiorgio) – 1.14.8” .
Race 10. Prix De Cabourg Championship SF Class – Roi Du Solat (Julian Farrugia) – 1.16.7”.

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