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Nico Oland, Quesito d’Or on top

Close finish... Nico Oland (no.1), driven by Julian Farrugia, just pips Donald Duck Tooma to victory yesterday. Photo: Jason Borg

Close finish... Nico Oland (no.1), driven by Julian Farrugia, just pips Donald Duck Tooma to victory yesterday. Photo: Jason Borg

The 22nd meeting of the season, held yesterday afternoon at the Marsa Racetrack, heralded the start of the Prix d’Enghien Championship with four heats for French trotters registered in the Gold Class.

These heats were held on a short distance of 2,140 metres. Yesterday’s card also included two Premier Class races which were won by Nico Oland and Quesito d’Or respectively.

Fifteen horses lined up for the first Premier race.

A keen duel between favourite, Danish trotter Nico Oland (Julian Farrugia), and Swedish Donald Duck Tooma (Charles Camilleri) developed in the final straight.

It was the former which obtained its second win in a row and third of the year with Ripsos De Fa (Ivan Bilocca) and Printemps De Gaia (Johan Axisa) finishing third and fourth respectively.

There was another tight finish involving two French trotters, Quesito d’Or (Frenċu Cassar) and Quo Williams (Julian Farrugia), in the second Premier Class race.

It was Quesito d’Or which claimed its first win in Malta in an exciting race that had the racing stewards consulting the photo-finish to determine the winner.

Quiz Du Lys (Kurt Saliba) and Shakira Trot (Nathaniel Barbara) followed home in that order.

From the four Gold Class heats, 24 trotters qualified for the semi-finals stage.

In the first, favourite Roseau du Hamel (Julian Farrugia) took its second consecutive win after outsmarting the early leader Rainbow Sautonne (Clive Gerada) midway through the final straight.

Quintet (Brian Zammit) stormed ahead of the field 300 metres from the end of the second Gold heat. This French trotter triumphed after passing the post first easily by four lengths from Tresor De Quesny (Andrew Farrugia).

For Quintet this was also its second win in a row.

In the third Gold heat, outsider Pike Blue (Andrew Farrugia) hit the front with 100 metres to go. Pike Blue went on to register its first win in Malta by half length from Rex Du Braud (Charles Farrugia).

Quefi Des Caillons (Michael Ellul) dashed strongly from the outside in the last 700m of the fourth Gold Class heat.

This French 11-year-old trotter prevailed easily by more than seven lengths from Turbulent (Frank Portelli). Quefi Des Caillons clocked an impressive time of 1.14.3” per kilometre, the best average time registered during yesterday’s programme.

The next meeting at the Marsa Racetrack is scheduled for Friday evening.

This will consist of eight races, all for trotters, with the first one starting at 7pm.

Yesterday’s winners

Race 1: Copper, Nylan De Mouloire (Rodney Gatt).
Race 2: Bronze, TB’s Memories (Redent Magro).
Race 3: Prix d’Enghien Heat (Gold) Roseau Du Hamel (Julian Farrugia).
Race 4: Prix d’Enghien Heat (Gold) Quintet (Brian Zammit).
Race 5: Bronze, Una Amosa (Tony Demanuele).
Race 6: Premier, Nico Oland (Julian Farrugia).
Race 7: Prix d’Enghien Heat (Gold), Pike Blue (Andrew Farrugia).
Race 8: Premier, Quesito d’Or (Frenċu Cassar).
Race 9: Prix d’Enghien Heat (Gold), Quefi Des Caillons (Michael Ellul).

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