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24 trotters in Tazza l-Kbira semis

Charles Camilleri (left) celebrates as he guides Donald Duck Tooma to victory in the first heat of the Tazza l-Kbira competition, yesterday. Photo: Matthew Mirabelli

Charles Camilleri (left) celebrates as he guides Donald Duck Tooma to victory in the first heat of the Tazza l-Kbira competition, yesterday. Photo: Matthew Mirabelli

The 12th meeting of the year, held yesterday at the Marsa Racetrack, heralded the start of the 2015 edition of the prestigious Tazza l-Kbira competition with six heats reserved for Premier Class trotters on a long distance of 2,640 metres.

From these heats, 24 horses advanced to the semi-finals.

In the first heat, the early leader, Swedish newcomer High Stage (Marco Refalo) started to slow down around 200 metres from the finish line.

Midway through the final straight, this trotter was overtaken by another debutant, Donald Duck Tooma (Charles Camilleri) which secured its first win in Malta from Pedro Vici (Johan Axisa).

Quetzal De Brix (Clint Vassallo) finished fourth.

The second heat produced a keen tussle between three horses in the final metres.

It was Shakira Trot (Nathaniel Barbara) which registered its first win of the season from Schwerin Boko (Kirsten Gialanze), Midnight Hall (Mario Fenech) and Original Blue (Chris Cassar).

Favourite Quattro D’Arline (Cliferty Calleja) dashed strongly from the outside around 400 metres from the end of the third heat. This French trotter managed to seal its third consecutive win from Pat De Fontaine (Noel Baldacchino).

Zalgado Transs R (Nicholas Bonello) and Qurieux Du Ponchet (Clint Vassallo) were third and fourth respectively.

In the fourth heat, German outsider Wee Catch Diamond (Julian Farrugia) recorded its first win in Malta. This trotter surged clear of the field with around 100 metres to go and won by half-length from Quito De Neret (Noel Baldacchino), Wiss Roadrunner (Mario Farrugia) and PA Surprise (Lorraine Cunningham).

In the fifth heat, Cloria Victis (Charles Camilleri) ran out of steam midway through the home straight and was reeled in by BWL Champion (Noel Baldacchino) which chalked up its first win of the year.

Quorum Quick, under the guidance of Brian Zammit, and Oran (Carmelo Farrugia) followed behind in that order.

Quebir De L’Aube (Clint Vassallo) had to go all the way in the final stages of the sixth and last heat in order to claim its first win in Malta.

Quesito d’Or (Frenċu Cassar), Qui Sait (Rodney Gatt) and Vejby Boom (Charles Camilleri) were the other trotters to qualify for the semi-finals.

Another meeting at the Marsa Racetrack will be held next Sunday.

The first race starts at 1.30pm.

Meanwhile, Opposition leader Simon Busuttil met with officials of the Malta Racing Club during a visit to the Marsa Racetrack yesterday afternoon.

Dr Busuttil was accompanied by David Agius, the PN spokesman for Sport.

Yesterday’s winners at Marsa

Race 1: Copper, Uranos (Tony Demanuele) – 1.20”.
Race 2: Bronze, Una Amosa (Tony Demanuele) – 1.19.7”.
Race 3: Tazza l-Kbira Heat, Donald Duck Tooma (Charles Camilleri) – 1.15.1”
Race 4: Tazza l-Kbira Heat, Shakira Trot (Nathaniel Barbara) – 1.16.8”.
Race 5: Tazza l-Kbira Heat, Quattro D’Arline (Cliferty Calleja) – 1.16”.
Race 6: Tazza l-Kbira Heat, Wee Catch Diamond (Julian Farrugia) – 1.17”.
Race 7: Tazza l-Kbira Heat, BWL Champion (Noel Baldacchino) – 1.15”.
Race 8: Tazza l-Kbira Heat, Quebir De L’Aube (Clint Vassallo) – 1.16”.

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