JOHN Marzol consolidated his stranglehold on the Moruya Jockey Club’s trainers’ premiership after he claimed three wins on his hometown track on Saturday.
The veteran trainer watched on as Joke A Lot won by a head over Chris Hensler’s Jayko in race two, and then tasted victory with Have One On Me in race four and Mineral Deposit in the fifth and final race to cap off a memorable Afflick Family Day.
Jockey James Geppert, who moved to Batemans Bay from Wagga Wagga in September, was in the saddle for two of Marzol’s three winners and said he was confident beforehand.
“We were pretty confident that both horses were going to do well,” Geppert said.
The talented hoop also rode multiple winners at Moruya on Melbourne Cup Day and hinted that getting settled in the area has been a big factor in his success.
“Over the past 10 or 11 months, I’ve ridden a fair bit for John so I decided to move here,” he said. “Riding the horses in track work, you get to know them and John has given me a really good go.”
Off the track, Saturday was also used to celebrate the grand opening of the Jockey Club’s new clubhouse.
Racing NSW chief executive Peter V’landys joined in the celebrations along with Country Racing NSW chairman Bob Pavitt and deputy chairwoman of the Racing NSW Board Naseema Sparks.
“It’s very heart-warming,” V’landys told the Bay Post/Moruya Examiner. “I think they’ve done a great job here with the new facility and the track looks fantastic, but more importantly to me is the enthusiasm of the committee.
“They’re really dedicated people and that’s why we come to support them.”
Indications from Saturday’s meeting pointed to the fact that there would be a club in Moruya for Racing NSW to support for many decades to come.
“We’ve spoken to council about just how we want to invest money here in Moruya and they’re now looking at extending a long-term lease, which is pleasing, and hopefully that will be announced in the next couple of weeks,” V’landys said.
“So everything is really positive for Moruya racing.”
Moruya Jockey Club secretary-manager Brian Cowden confirmed on Monday that the wheels were in motion to secure a long-term lease agreement with Eurobodalla Shire Council and he hoped to have the deal concluded in “the short term”.