THERE was some serious rain cards beings played at Moe Racing Club last Friday.

Virtually every local cricketer spotted was enjoying the hospitality, seemingly convinced there would be no play the next day.

As it turned out, their predictions were accurate, even if some of their tips weren’t.

The Ian Grant’s Caravans Xmas Party Race Day attracted a great turnout, with a host of people coming to celebrate the end of the working week, or in the case of some – the year.

Work groups used the event as an opportunity to hold break-ups, while others took the chance to enjoy country racing amid summer conditions.

Members were back in the longue, which had been used previously by jockeys while their changerooms were getting renovated, while the Hillside Pavilion was also alive with activity.

Without doubt though, the most lively section was the ‘Santas Shack’ marquee along the straight, which saw patrons gather at tables or on the grass watching as horses raced by every half an hour.

Live music from Josh Hanratty kept guests entertained, paving the way for tunes to continue after the last race.

While trying to get someone to top Shannon Noll, who performed at Moe Racing Club last year, was always going to be difficult, if near-on impossible, the club managed to get something for all Creedence Clearwater Revival fans.

Although it wasn’t quite John Fogarty (imagine that), they managed to get the next best thing, with CCR tribute band – Creedence Clearwater Survival headlining the afterparty.

Speaking to the Express, Moe Racing Club Chairman, Mike Vanderfeen said he hoped patrons enjoyed Friday’s meeting.

“The sun has come out, I look out to the 2400 metre start and it’s just a sea of heads up there all having a good time,” he said in reference to the Santa Shack marquee.

“(There’s) lots going on, our new development here at Moe with the raceday building officially will be opened hopefully by the Minister (Racing Minister, Anthony Carbines) on ANZAC Day, finished the week before ANZAC Day, new jockeys facilities opened today, five star, no hiccups, all gone well, we are looking forward to that development.

“It’s another successful year. The club reported well-above annual profit for the year, members are in excess of 800, we’ve got the support of the community and the members which is a real plus.”

As the CCR tribute band played, there was a sense of irony meeting at least one journalist, who is often quizzed on how he learns about certain things in the local sporting world.

“I heard it through the grapevine”.


MOE Racing Club hosted its final meeting for the year on Friday.

Idyllic conditions greeted all to the Christmas meeting, with the track rated a Good 4 for the entire eight-race card.

Jockeys enjoyed new changerooms facilities, which were in use for the first time.

The new changerooms offer a spacious interior and modern elements accommodating for male and female riders.

Major development works are continuing at Moe, with the upstairs raceday building currently under construction.

All going well, the facility will be completed in time for the ANZAC Day meeting next year.

The works are some of the biggest upgrades seen at the club in decades.

Friday’s meeting opened with the Bidfood Maiden Plate over 1100 metres.

Torlaah won in a two-horse race to the line, getting home by just under a length from High Security for Cranbourne-based trainer Luke Oliver.

Moe local Darryl Blackshaw gained a place, with three-year-old filly Confine securing third in a tight race to be best of the rest.

The Race 2 Purcell Painting Maiden Plate (1200m) saw a Gippsland winner, with Dummy Spit doing the damage for Sale trainer Andrew Perdon.

The four-year-old gelding narrowly edged out Midnight Devil for Cranbourne’s Enver Jusufovic.

Dummy Spit has been in good touch since winning at Sale in early October, with its last four starts now reading: fourth, second, fifth and first.

Race 3 was won by Gold Wolf for the Mornington stable headed by David and Coral Feek in the Yarragon Country Style Bakery Maiden Plate (1600m).

Luke Nolen, of Black Caviar fame, rode in this race, steering Manhattan Stone to second for Robbie Griffiths and Matt de Kock of Cranbourne.

There was another Black Caviar connection in the Race 4 Paulls Carpet Choice Maiden Plate (2050m), with the Peter Moody-trained Madenyo coming third.

The race was however won by Bird Dog, which coincidentally, featured another famous racing connection.

The three-year-old filly snuck home to beat Golden Hips by a nose, giving Patrick Payne, brother of Melbourne Cup winning jockey Michelle, victory in Moe.

Ironically, much like her famous sister’s Melbourne Cup win, Bird Dog was a rank outsider, starting $16.00 at the tote.

In the Race 5 Ian Grant’s Caravans Handicap (2050m), six-year-old Black Penn was too good in the finish.

The Greg Eurell-trained gelding won by more than a length to take the win.

A thrilling finish came to hand in the Race 6 Ladbrokes Blackbook Handicap (1100m).

Virtually half-a-length separated the first five runners, but Over ‘N’ Out took line honours on the inside.

The win gave Nolen a riding double, and victory to Euora trainers Ben and JD Hayes.
Race 7, the Australian Moving Logistics BM58 (1000m) saw Machinist do as its name suggested.

The four-year-old gelding won the sprint to the line, winning for Cranbourne’s Jack Laing.

Payne won again, taking out the Race 8 Changed Latitude Handicap BM58 (1600m).

Nolen made it a treble, riding Greta Moon home by two lengths.

Moe Racing Club has a meeting next month, racing on Saturday, January 27 for Australia Day.

Same first names: Mark Droog and Mark Micallef enjoying marquee life.

Multiple: Trafalgar Football-Netball Club premiership teammates Rhys Holdsworth (clearly with no thoughts of cricket the next day) and Chris Kyriacou at Moe Races last Friday.

Same names, different spelling: Traralgon’s Rebekah Alimpic and Newborough’s Rebecca Grima.

Trio: Moe’s Deb Casson, Bev Kerrigan and Wayne Gould. I will definitely get you on the front page one day Gouldy.

Times: Newborough’s Brandon Baker, Morwell’s Tom DAlia, Traralgon’s Kaleb Chapman and Newborough’s Adam Semple.

Day at the races: Moe’s Tom Woodhouse, Calvin Griggs and Jen Felici. Photographs: Liam Durkin

Great men: Locals Liam Pearce, Steve Blackshaw and Jaryn Makepeace trackside.