Moe ready to Sheikh

RELATED: Moe to welcome back racing

SHEIKH Mohammed bin Rasheed Al Maktoum, the Prime Minister and Vice-president of the United Arab Emirates and ruler of Dubai, stands to earn $9000 and a piece of Australian racing trivia when racing returns to Moe today.

Grito, owned by Sheikh Mohammed’s Darley operation in Australia, looks hardest to beat in the first race at Moe, the 1600 metre maiden. It will be the first race run at Moe for two years and six days and the first race on its new StrathAyr all-weather surface.

And for that reason the race will be linked to a trivia question for years to come, even if the $9000 winner’s cheque will not be as significant to Sheikh Mohammed as those he has received from winning races such as the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.

Darley is the biggest breeding and racing operation in the world with major participation in USA, Ireland and Australia.

Grito, a four-year-old mare by Redoubte’s Choice from Vocalist has raced seven times. She was sixth at Moonee Valley on February 7 after being held up for a run between the 500 and the 300 metres. That followed promising runs at Werribee (second) and Cranbourne (two seconds and a third).

The mare is trained by Anthony Freedman and will be ridden by Daniel Moor.

Moe Racing Club general manager Mark Hill said the track was in fantastic order for the long-awaited resumption of racing. Yesterday’s track rating was “dead 4” and today’s forecast was for 31 degrees.

There is high excitement in Moe and the Latrobe Valley for the launch today of the $4.5 million racetrack.

Six horses trained on the track will by trying to keep the winner’s cheque (and the trivia answer) in Moe.

Local trainers Paul and Tracey Templeton have two runners – Endevinalles and Triplette while other home track trainers Michael Templeton (Generous Ted), Allison Bennett (Abichi) and Charlie Gafa (Misty Night) give Moe a 6/5 numbers advantage over visitors.

Gafa’s wife Rose is the track work supervisor at Moe.

The first of eight races is at 1pm and the last at 5.20pm.