Gelagotis keen on Moe return

RELATED COVERAGE: Hype hits fever pitch

RELATED COVERAGE: Two-year racing wait ends

By keith hillier

NO-one is looking forward to the return of racing at Moe tomorrow more than its most successful training operation – Peter Gelagotis Racing.

Peter’s brother Manny Gelagotis said the two-year wait for racing to return would be worthwhile judging by the state of the redeveloped surface.

“The new track has a surface that compares with Kensington (the Strathayr track at Randwick) and Moonee Valley, it is just beautiful,” Gelagotis said.

Moe Racing Club has successfully completed all requirements of a Racing Victoria Limited program that included slow trackwork gallops, barrier jump outs and official trials to get the green light to race again.

Gelagotis predicted a massive resurgence in the popularity of Moe in particular and Gippsland racing in general.

“Moe is our home track, but Gippsland racing is what we are all about,” he said.

Facts back that statement up.

Peter Gelagotis Racing has won the Gippsland Racehorse of the Year title for the past three seasons with Savquaw, which won the 2009 Moe Cup, Belgiotto and Hvasstan.

With their primary course out of action, Manny Gelagotis said the 30 trainers at Moe had done it tough for more than two years.

“We have had to ask permission to gallop horses at other race tracks,” he said.

“Previously we were using Moe six days a week.”

Gelagotis predicted the new state-of-the-art racetrack at Moe would entice local trainers to expand and new trainers to come to the city.

“It’s the current trend, isn’t it,” he said.

“Darren Weir is doing all right at Ballarat and has made out of town training something fashionable.”

Moe Racing Club racing manager Mark Hill said tomorrow’s meeting would be used as a “soft” introduction of its new track.

The venue will also host meetings on Anzac Day, 5 May, 19 May, 14 June and 8 July.

The Moe Cup will return to its traditional date – two days before the Caulfield Cup in October.

The redevelopment project cost about $4.5 million.