Mc Donalds Mediterranean Derby final taking place todayTuesday, June 7, 2011, 5:52
Intially known as the United Service Challenge Cup, its first edition was held in 1889, and it is currently the oldest honour that is still contested in the Maltese horse-racing scene. Its participants have always included the topmost quality of flat racing horses which graced our racecourse. The elaborate workmanship in the manufacture of the trophy as well as its age contribute to its popularity.
Derby day in the late 19th and early 20th century, used to be an important occasion in the Maltese social calendar attracting numerous spectators, with officers in uniform and their ladies in Ascot-style gowns and hats. Many popular horses which bring back fond memories to racing enthusiasts have inscribed their name on this prestigious trophy, and quite a number have managed to land the trophy more than once, e.g. in the distant past, Centaur in the late forties, Bright Hopper in the mid-fifies, TWA in the early sixties and others, recently Just The Best in the last two years, and Managing Director with the largest number of wins (five between 2002 and 2006).
At a press conference held on Friday Club Chairman Dr. Matthew Brincat, said “we are very pleased to have such a worldwide brand like McDonalds associated with the Malta Racing Club. With the increase in popularity of flat racing during the last decade, and the help of such sponsors like McDonalds, the Mediterranean Derby has regained its traditional prestige. This year we have also seen the introduction of semi-finals to determine the qualifiers for the final. We hope that the partnership between the MRC and McDonalds will continue for the years to come”
Natasha Giorgio, Marketing Manager of McDonald’s Malta said ” Our ongoing commitment towards the world of sports is one of our top priorities and we are very proud to be part of this year’s McDonald’s Mediteranean Derby which is the main event for Flat Racing. We would like to congratulate all the participating jockeys and organizers and wish everyone the best of luck.
This year’s 7 finalists are:
1. Kimberly Downs
2. Uncle Bertie
3. Just the Best
5. Ollie Fliptrik
6. Mayfair Princess
7. Adorabile Med
Dr Brincat concluded, “both semi-finals were very close and it augurs well for a very contested race final on Tuesday 7th June, a National Holiday”. He thanked once again McDonalds for their support in sponsoring this event.
Both Dr. Brincat and Ms Giorgio wished the best of luck to all participants. The race will be the 7th race out of 10 races on the card, with the 1st race commencing at 14:00, and the main McDonald’s Mediterranean Derby race run over a distance of 1750m held at 16:30. A parade of all the participating horses will be held before the start of the race.
The designer, Edmund Cotterrill, introduced a passage in the history of Duke Berchtold V of Zähringen, encountering and slaying in the wilds of Switzerland an enormous bear on the spot on which he afterwards built the city of Berne, about the end of the twelfth century. The Duke has dismounted from his horse, which is held by an attendant, and trembles at its propinquity to the grisly monster, which rushes headlong to the attack. Two bloodhounds form the accessories of the composition – one of which the bear has killed, and the other somewhat daunted at the fate of his companion.