Stage set for biggest Tazza l-Kbira entry
It-Tazza l-Kbira 2018 was officially launched during a press conference by Edwin Borg and Thomas Cunningham, chairman and general secretary of the Malta Racing Club in the presence of Charles Azzopardi Executive PR and Marketing at Bank of Valletta.
The top 76 horses in Malta will be participating in six qualifying heats on Sunday, March 25 with the top six trotters from each heat progressing to the semi-finals scheduled for April 8.
There will be three semi-finals from which the leading four trotters from each race will advance for the final penciled for Sunday, April 22.
All races are contested under the traditional 2640 metres distance.
Borg, the MRC chairman, said that the Tazza l-Kbira, which will be sponsored by Bank of Valletta, holds great tradition since its inception in 1934.
“It-Tazza l-Kbira is the highest accolade in Maltese trot racing, attracting the best horses and the largest prize-pot,” he said.
“This year’s edition features only Premier class trotters originating from four different countries and featuring 12 debutants.
“Once the finalists are determined, the owners of the horses will themselves draw their starting numbers for the final. The final, apart from being the top race of the year, will offer fun for all the family with a spectacular entertainment programme for all those in attendance.’
On his part, Cunningham explained that although in the past years the limit of horses in this competition was set at 72, due to the fact that the number of top category horses has increased and some of the owners have imported horses especially for this elite competition, it was decided to accommodate all the Premier category horses hence the increased number of 76.
Also this year, the Malta Racing Club Council has decided that the prize money had to reflect the importance of this race and thus it should carry the largest prize money of the season.
This meant an increase in the total prize money allocated of €1600 for a total of €6550 with the winner receiving €3500.
Mr Cunningham also stated that to ensure the best racing conditions, the Malta Racing Club Council decided to upgrade the racetrack‘s surface and currently works are being done on resurfacing and proper levelling.
“Bank of Valletta is no stranger to horse racing, having supported the BOV Cup in the late 70s and early 80s,” said Azzopardi.
‘In this recent collaboration with the Malta Racing Club, we are promoting excellence by supporting the most prestigious competition of the year.”