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Charming Soldier wins Tazza l-Kbira Final in record time

Charming Soldier won Sunday’s major event at the Marsa Racetrack. Photo: Chris Sant Fournier

Driven by Paul Galea, and in front of the biggest crowd so far this season, swedish nine-year-old Charming Soldier won Sunday’s major event at the Marsa Racetrack. This was the final of the 2022 edition of the prestigious Tazza l-Kbira competition for class Premier trotters on a long distance of 2640m. This final, organized with the financial support of Bank of Valletta, formed part of the 20th meeting of the season consisting of eight races all for trotters.

Twelve trotters lined up for the class Premier final. As expected, favourite and winner of the last edition, Antoine Du Bourg (Redent Magro) was the fastest horse at first, opening a small lead from Caviar Du Vivier (Rodney Gatt) and Gigant Well (Charles Degiorgio). With a lap to go, Antoine Du Bourg was still going fast but eventually ran out of speed midway through the final straight when this horse was overtaken by Charming Soldier (Paul Galea) which sealed its third win of the year by a length from Infinite Knight (Charles Camilleri) and Bambino Des Flots (Noel Baldacchino). Doudou De Bouere (Jean Claude Pace) ended in fourth place while Antoine Du Bourg had to settle for fifth place. The winner clocked an average time of 1.13.5” per kilometer which is a new national record for the distance and for this competition. Charming Soldier is a Swedish nine-year-old trotter which was sired by Swedish stallion Maharajah.

After this final, Minister for Education Clifton Grima and Mr Charles Azzopardi, on behalf of the sponsors, presented the prestigious trophies to owners Francois and Carmelo Caruana, and Paul Galea – the driver of the winning horse. This was held in the presence of a number of officials of the Malta Racing Club.

Asked to comment about this final, Paul Galea said that he was delighted and enthusiastic that one of his childhood dreams, that of winning the Tazza l-Kbira final came true.

“I planned to make a good sprint with my horse during the last 400m and the horse responded really well by dashing strongly from the outside. Thanks also goes to the owners who showed full trust in me. I have always believed that Charming Soldier could win this prestigious cup and the average time registered by my trotter today confirms all this,” concluded Paul Galea.

Another meeting at the Marsa Racetrack will be held on Friday evening. The first race should start at 7pm.

Sunday’s winners

Race 1. Class Copper. Dist – 3140m. 1. Grace d’Auberville (Carl Caruana) – 1.19.6”

Race 2. Class Bronze. Dist – 3140m. 1. Attack Photo (Dylan Baldacchino) – 1.16.9”

Race 3. Class Silver. Dist – 3140m. 1. Fast Loulou (Jesmar Gafa’) – 1.16.7”

Race 4. Class Gold. Dist – 3140m. 1. Derby Chevaleraie (Charles Camilleri) – 1.16.3”

Race 5. Class Gold. Dist – 3140m. 1. Triomphe Ferm (Kurt Saliba) – 1.15.8”

Race 6. Class Gold. Dist – 3140m. 1. Beau de Morgane (Darren John Mercieca) – 1.16.7”

Race 7. BOV Tazza l-Kbira Championship final. Class Premier. Dist – 2640m. 1. Charming Soldier (Paul Galea) – 1.13.5”

Race 8. Class Silver. Dist – 3140m. 1. Beatnik Turgot (Cherise Farrugia) – 1.17”

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