By LIAM DURKIN
THERE was something for the whole family at Moe Racing Club on Tuesday, January 18, as the club hosted a Kids Day Out meeting.
With school holidays still on, parents packed the picnic basket for a day at the races.
Families enjoyed a relaxing time on the lawn at Moe Racing Club, while kids exerted plenty of energy taking part in a number of sports and games such as soccer, cricket and totem tennis.
Face painting, colouring in and the petty zoo were also popular attractions, as was the ice cream van, enjoyed by kids and parents alike.
Amid all this fun it was easy to forget there was actually racing going on.
Moe hosted an eight-race day card, with calm and mild weather making for idyllic conditions.
The track was rated a Good 4 throughout the meeting, which was dominated by Cranbourne runners.
Mr Blackwood won the opening race, the Ian Grant’s Caravans Maiden Plate over 2400 metres, blitzing the field in the run to the post, almost winning by five lengths for Cranbourne trainer Cindy Alderson.
Trafalgar jockey Jason Maskiell rode Doom Star to second in this race, in what was the five-year old geldings second placing in as many starts since returning from a three week freshen.
The Bottlemart Moe 3YO Maiden Plate (1200m) returned an incredibly tight finish.
A photo was needed to determine the winner between Chalonne Princess, Tauty and Piquancy, as the trio could not be split to the naked eye.
Chalonne Princess was coming seventh with 400m to go, and kicked late to steam alongside Tauty and Piquancy as the photo was taken.
The filly scrapped in on the outside for Ben and JD Hayes of Euroa, nudging out pre-race favourites Tauty ($3.20) and Piquancy ($3.70).
In the Moe Optical 4YO+ Maiden Plate (1200m), Nottaris proved too strong, winning by 1.5L for Mornington trainer Cliff Brown.
The result would have reaffirmed Brown’s strategy with the gelding, as it was its first run after being spelled for 15 weeks.
The Nextra Moe Maiden Plate (1000m) saw another tight finish.
Tea Master lunged just before the post to edge out Vaettir, getting a win for Mornington trainers Anthony and Sam Freedman.
Poleaxed won the RMBL Investments Rising Stars BM58 Handicap (1600m).
The six year-old gelding got home by 1.75L from Rosenstrasse, which made up solid ground after commencing awkwardly.
Poleaxed, trained at Cranbourne by Ken and Kasey Keys, led at both the 800m and 400m mark, although it was discovered to have lost its off fore plate after the race.
The S&S Equipment Hire BM58 Handicap (2400m) saw Artillery Force have its nose in front from a bunched field right at the death.
Less than a length separated the top four horses, with second place Sassoon so very nearly making punters jump for joy as it went into the race at $26.
Artillery Force and Sassoon were locked in a two-way battle for the lead for most of the way down the straight, but it was the former who prevailed.
It was back-to-back wins for the John Leek Junior trained Cranbourne gelding, following victory at Stony Creek in a 2100m run on January 4.
The penultimate race secured a double for the Freedman stable, with Titans winning the Ladbroke It! Class 2 Handicap (1100m).
The three-year-old gelding scrapped in by a nose against Magnum Bullet after controlling most of the race, coming third at the 800m mark and second with 400m to go.
Cranbourne trainer Robbie Griffiths finished the meeting with Halvoya winning in the Local Cups Day 20th February BM58 Handicap (1200m).
Halvoya ran well to win while two runs back, seeing out challenges from New Zealand galloper Mighty Feat and stablemate Riverdance Lad.
Freedman Racing representative Jake Costas said it was pleasing to get a double.
“Definitely makes the trip worthwhile out here to Moe,” he told Racing.com.
“Both horses dug in deep and it was good to get the win.
“Titans chased a hot speed at Moonee Valley two starts back and just at Flemington probably didn’t handle the straight, he began a bit awkward and we thought bringing him back to Moe, tight turning track, if he gets that kick off the bend he’d give it a good sight in front.
“He’s just starting to put it all together and hopefully we can get a couple more wins out of him this prep.
“Tea Master was a bit green, but once he got into clear air he really attacked the line.”
The next meeting at Moe Racing Club is the Local Cups and Community Race Day on Sunday, February 20.