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Jean Claude Pace wins international UET Championship

Jean Claude Pace is the winner of the 2023 edition of the UET European Championship.

Maltese driver Jean Claude Pace is the winner of the 2023 edition of the UET European Championship for Apprentices which was held on Sunday at the Marsa racetrack. This championship consisted of four heats on a short distance of 2140m and was reserved for class Bronze and Copper trotters. Thirteen drivers took part in the championship and Malta was represented by Jean Claude Pace who totalled 46 points.

This was the 37th edition of this championship and in the past Malta also hosted it in 1993 and in 1995. These international heats formed part of the 46th meeting of the season consisting of twelve races all for trotters. Eight of these races also heralded the start of the Johnnie Walker Cup championship for class Gold also on a short distance.

In the first international heat, the early leader, Italian newcomer Dario Del Brenta (Lisa Sophie Zimmer – Germany) ran out of speed 400m from the end and was overtaken by Givre Nonantais driven by French Theo Briand. Briand’s trotter sealed its fourth win of the year from Flash Du Condroz (Jean Claude Pace). Conflit (Jonas Steiner – Austria) ended in third place.

Imanol De Mongochy (Jonathan Cowden – Ireland) upped its pace on the outside during the last 500m of the second international heat. This French trotter past the finishing post easily by three lengths from Digital Life (Maylen Lode – Norway) and Fleur De Blay (Jim Veldman – Holland). Jakino (Jean Claude Pace) followed home in that order. For Imanol De Mongochy this was its first win in Malta.

There was a keen duel between Idoline (Jonas Steiner – Austria) and Fakir De Mone (Jean Claude Pace) in the third heat of the championship. It was the former that took its first win in Malta with Deal Des Marceaux (Floris Vandenabeele – Belgium) and Harry De L’Ormerie (Lisa Sophie Zimmer) also obtaining a good place.

The fourth and last heat was also won by Irish driver Jonathan Cowden. Driving favourite Heros De Claivince, Cowden increased the speed during the last 400 metres and triumphed easily by four lengths from Viking Du Sarthon (Jim Veldman – Holland) and Hurricane (Malte Handfast – Sweden). Lajos Euro (Jonas Steiner – Austria) ended fourth. This was Heros De Claivince third win in a row.  

After this last heat, Jean Claude Pace was declared the new European champion with 46 points; Irish driver Jonathan Cowden finished second with 45 points while Austrian Jonas Steiner ended third with 43 points. Another meeting at the Marsa Racetrack will be held on Friday. The first race should start at 6.30pm.

Sunday’s winners

Race 1. Johnnie Walker Cup Heat. Class Gold. Dist – 2140m. 1. Durga Des Valerins (Cherise Farrugia) – 1.15.2”

Race 2. Johnnie Walker Cup Heat. Class Gold. Dist – 2140m. 1. First Love M.L. (Rodney Gatt) – 1.14.9”

Race 3. UET Championship for Apprentices Heat. Class Copper. Dist – 2140m. 1. Givre Nonantais (Theo Briand – FRA) – 1.16.6”

Race 4. UET Championship for Apprentices Heat. Class Copper. Dist – 2140m. 1. Imanol De Mongochy (Jonathan Cowden – Ireland) – 1.17.5”

Race 5. Johnnie Walker Cup Heat. Class Gold. Dist – 2140m. 1. French Gold (Jesmar Gafa’) – 1.15.5”

Race 6. UET Championship for Apprentices Heat. Class Copper. Dist – 2140m. 1. Idoline (Jonas Steiner – Austria) – 1.18.3”

Race 7. UET Championship for Apprentices Heat. Class Copper. Dist – 2140m. 1. Heros De Claivince (Jonathan Cowden – Ireland) – 1.15.7”

Race 8. Johnnie Walker Cup Heat. Class Gold. Dist – 2140m. 1. Elixir Du Bocage (Charles Camilleri) – 1.15.7”

Race 9. Johnnie Walker Cup Heat. Class Gold. Dist – 2140m. 1. Zidane D.E. (Chris Grech) – 1.17.8”

Race 10. Johnnie Walker Cup Heat. Class Gold. Dist – 2140m. 1. Dreams Happen (Rodney Gatt) – 1.16.1”

Race 11. Johnnie Walker Cup Heat. Class Gold. Dist – 2140m. 1. Felicio Du Joamax (J. Zahra) –  1.15.7”

Race 12. Johnnie Walker Cup Heat. Class Gold. Dist – 2140m. 1. Bicetre (Cliferty Calleja) – 1.15.4”

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