THE Melbourne Cup may be the “race that stops a nation” but it certainly didn’t put a halt to Eurobodalla horses on Tuesday, as hometown trainers dominated the five-race card at the Moruya racecourse.
Four of the five races went to Moruya trainers, while veteran Batemans Bay jockey Neil Perryman also enjoyed a great day out after he finished with three wins.
However, the day was memorable in more ways than one for Perryman.
The vastly experienced hoop used to ride for Lloyd Williams, the owner of Tuesday’s Melbourne Cup winner Green Moon.
“We watched the race in the jockeys’ room and it was great to see Lloyd Williams win because I used to ride for him and I rode winners for Lloyd at Moonee Valley,” Perryman said.
“I always keep an eye on his horses, but Green Moon wasn’t my pick, that’s for sure!”
The fact that gun jockey Brett Pebble was in the saddle was always going to be a good omen for Green Moon, Perryman said.
“Brett Pebble is the best jockey I’ve seen in a long time, so I guess it wasn’t a surprise but I wouldn’t have picked it.”
Something else that surprised Perryman on Tuesday was the number of racegoers that turned up at the Moruya track.
Well in excess of 2200 people poured through the gates, while maximum fields made for some exciting action on the track.
“Narooma Cup is always the biggest meeting we have, but for a Melbourne Cup meeting, that’s by far the biggest and best meeting I’ve ever seen here and I’ve been here for nearly 20 years now,” Perryman said.
“Considering the number of meetings that were on around the state, it looked like we might only have four or five in each race but it turned out that we had maximum fields.
“The club is going from strength to strength every year.”
Perryman’s day got off to the best possible start when he won the maiden plate (920m) aboard Lynda Bundy’s Moorings Siren by more than eight lengths and in class record time.
“That was an outstanding win and he probably could’ve gone to Canberra and won, but being a locally owned horse, the owners wanted him to be here even though it was a little less prize money,” he said.
“Moorings Siren could probably go on and win a nice race down the track, he was super-impressive.”
Moruya Jockey Club secretary Brian Cowden was over the moon on Wednesday.
“I’d say it was our best Melbourne Cup Day ever in terms of numbers and turnover and that sort of thing,” he said.