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Opal Hall, Mint Kronos steal the limelight

Opal Hall and Mint Kronos won yesterday’s main events, the two heats from the Equestrian Festival Championships (EFC) over a one-mile distance.

From the two Premier Class heats, six horses qualified for the final stage.

Ten trotters participated in the first heat. Lineup Du Jape (Noel Baldacchino) was unchallenged for most of the distance. However, with 300 metres to go, this Swedish eight-year-old trotter couldn’t sustain the challenge of Opal Hall (Tony Mallia) and Over Oaks (Carl Caruana).

It was Opal Hall that secured its first win of the year easily by more than seven lengths with Phenix De La Roque (Ronald James) finishing fourth.

Mint Kronos (Julian Farrugia) upped its pace with a lap to go in the second Premier heat.

This Italian trotter grabbed the lead around 500 metres from the finish line to pass the post first easily by a length from Cloria Victis (Charles Camilleri).

B.W.L. Champion (Baldacchino) and Quiet Du Chene (Rodney Gatt) claimed the other top-four positions. For Mint Kronos this was its first win in Malta.

There was a keen tussle between four horses in the final metres of the first Gold Class heat. It was French Quicker Magoda (Michael Sultana) that notched its first win in Malta from Argus Hanover (Baldacchino) and Pro Shop (Felix Casha).

Markus Klipp (Tyler Mifsud) followed home in that order.

In the second Gold heat, Kirsten Gialanzè put Quito De Femisson in front midway through the final straight. This trotter prevailed easily by eight lengths from Sigurd Speed (Mark Tanti) and Troy Boshoeve (Salvu Vella).

Pan Des Couperies (Camilleri) finished fourth.

Another meeting, consisting of 10 EFC heats, will be held this afternoon at Marsa, starting at 1.15pm.

Winners of EFC heats

Race 1: Copper, Voila Dry (Ivan Bilocca) – 1.16.8”.
Race 2: Bronze, Maiden Flash (Josef Farrugia) – 1.18.2”.
Race 3: Silver, Pepita Ans (Rodney Gatt) – 1.15.4”.
Race 4: Silver, Victory Pointer (Kirsten Gialanze’) – 1.17.5”.
Race 5: Copper, Britt Buitenzorg (Rodney Gatt) – 1.17.3”.
Race 6: Bronze, Norfolk De Gouerie (Cliferty Calleja) – 1.16.7”.
Race 7: Premier, Opal Hall (Tony Mallia) – 1.14.6”.
Race 8: Gold, Quicker Magoda (Michael Sultana) – 1.15.7”.
Race 9: Premier, Mint Kronos (Julian Farrugia) – 1.14”.
Race 10: Bronze, Janitor (Marvin Cauchi) – 1.17.8”.
Race 11: Gold, Quito De Femisson (Kirsten Gialanze’) – 1.14.7”.

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