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Maltese success in Malta-Estonia Friendship races

Jason Zahra (second right) receives a memento after winning the Malta-Estonia Friendship Race for Class Bronze. Photo: Mike Orland

The 13th meeting of the year which was held on Sunday afternoon at the Marsa Racetrack included two international races between Maltese and Estonian drivers.

These races were organised on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the establishing of the bilateral relations between Malta and Estonia and were won by two Maltese drivers, Rodney Gatt and Jason Zahra.

In this international event, Estonia was represented by Mahmoud Abdalla, Natalia Abdalla, Gudmund Haugstad, Niina Haugstad, Aimur Mets and Veronica Mets and together with their Maltese counterparts, these drivers took part in two races for class Silver and Bronze trotters on a short distance of 2140m.

The Malta-Estonia Friendship races were organised with the financial support of EquestriMalta and the logistical support of the Ministry for Foreign and European Affairs.

Maltese and Estonian drivers pose for a picture at the Marsa Racetrack. Photo: Mike Orland.

In the first international race, the early leader, Devil Boko (Niina Haugstad) ran out of steam when the front horses turned for their final straight. This Dutch trotter was eventually overtaken in the final metres by Fakir Piya (Rodney Gatt) which gained its first win of the season. Devil Boko had to settle for second place from Erromanga (Veronika Mets) and Fangio De Bailly (David Ellul). 

Similar was the second international race reserved for class Silver trotters. It was Edson Boko (Aimur Mets), which was the fastest horse at first.

However the early leader was reeled in by Global Tuxedo (Jason Zahra) midway through the final straight. Zahra’s trotter took its first win in Malta with Capuchine Phil (Claudio Refalo) and Aristote Gede (Veronika Mets) following behind in that order.

At the end of these two international races, Dr Kenneth Vella, Ambassador of Malta to Estonia and Finland and Mr Max Zammit, CEO of EquestriMalta presented a memento and a trophy to the owners and drivers of the winning horses. Sunday’s card also included three semifinals from the Executive Security Services championship for class Silver trotters. From these twelve trotters made it to the final stage.

Cliftery Calleja leads Velten Limelight to victory in the Premier class race. Photo: Matthew Mirabelli

Sunday’s winners

Race 1. Class Bronze. Dist – 2640m. 1. Dragon De Bellouet (Tony Tanti) – 1.17.2”

Race 2. Class Silver. Dist – 2640m. 1. Dak Oldack (Daniel Hili) – 1.17.6”

Race 3. Class Gold. Dist – 2640m. 1.  Diaz Dairpet (Cliferty Calleja) – 1.16.8”

Race 4. Class Gold. Dist – 2640m. 1. Tonight Lux (Domenic Xerri) – 1.18.5”

Race 5. Class Premier. Dist – 2640m. 1. Velten Limelight (Cliferty Calleja) – 1.16.8”

Race 6. Class Copper. Dist – 2640m. 1. Givre Nonantais (Cherise Farrugia) – 1.18.5”

Race 7. Class Copper. Dist – 2640m. 1. Gaia Lucaxelo (Paul Galea) – 1.17.5”

Race 8. Malta-Estonia Friendship Race. Class Bronze. Dist – 2140m. 1. Fakir Piya (Rodney Gatt) – 1.16.9”

Race 9. Malta-Estonia Friendship Race. Class Bronze. Dist – 2140m. 1. Global Tuxedo (Jason Zahra) – 1.16.6”

Race 10. Class Bronze. Dist – 2640m. 1. Cambaceres (Paul Galea) – 1.18.9”

Race 11. Executive Security Championship Semi Finals. Class Silver. Dist – 2140m. 1. Triomphe Ferm (Kurt Saliba) – 1.15.2”

Race 12. Class Premier. Dist – 2640m. 1. Antoine Du Bourg (Redent Magro) – 1.15.2”

Race 13. Executive Security Championship  Semi Finals. Class Silver. Dist – 2140m.1. Livi Majesty (Rodney Gatt) – 1.15.1”

Race 14. Executive Security Championship Semi Finals. Class Silver. Dist – 2140m.1. Elton Magic (Chris Vassallo) – 1.15.8”

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