Terrific racing grips Gippsland crowd

CROWD numbers may have been down but racing was indelible at Traralgon on Saturday for Caulfield Cup day, with local trainers making hay at the Spring meeting.

Trafalgar’s Mick Templeton had a winner in race five with Beedeekay and Rick’s Lady brought Newborough’s Lenny Xuereb success in the 1430-metre sixth and final race on the card.

Gippsland glory was not confined to local circles.

Moe trainer Peter Gelagotis paid tribute to his late father through Hvasstan as the galloper took out the Group Three Norman Robinson Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield. 

Latrobe Valley Racing Club chief executive Brendan Blackshaw said while the sub 1000 Traralgon turnout was off the mark the weather and track were spot on.

“It was a good race day, the track raced terrific (and) we upgraded to a dead four on the day so that was pleasing,” he said.

The club will learn whether their Caulfield Cup meeting will continue when the new Victorian racing calendar is issued late next month, but Blackshaw said the poor showing would not bode well for the event’s longevity in Gippsland.

“I still think it’s a great day to race so hopefully they can give us one more chance, (but) it depends on getting good community support and we didn’t really get that,” Blackshaw said.

“We’ve had a bit of an uncertain past and we just need to make sure we have a positive future; the only way we can do that is by making sure people come to the track.”

The club’s next event will be Ladies’ Day on Saturday, 3 November, where Blackshaw said he was hoping for increased attendance.

“The ones who were there enjoyed themselves so hopefully they will come back and bring a few friends,” he said.