Damien Moyle – who trained his first winner at Saturday’s Morphettville Parks meetings – admits his days spent working in the family’s manchester business were often punctuated by a non-work activity.
“It’s Moyle Fine Linen and I was running the warehouse, but I spent most of my days there listening to the races,” Damien said.
“So I took the punt and decided to have a crack at the racing industry.
“I’m not from a racing background, I just thought it’d be a good idea to be a horse trainer.”
Damien’s bold decision led him to an association with Morphettville trainer Gordon Richards and – ultimately – to saddle up City Beats, who led all the way to take out race eight at headquarters on the weekend, ridden by Teagan Voorham.
City Beats is – to date – Damien’s first and only horse and was having his eighth start for the fledgling 29-year-old trainer. City Beats prevailed in a tight finish in the benchmark 58 event over 1950m, much to his trainer’s relief.
“When he kicked clear at the top of the straight I thought ‘I’ve got him really fit, I reckon he’s going to win’,” Damien said.
“I stopped looking at the screen and I started walking to the rail to cheer him home, but I was about 20 metres past the post and from my angle, I thought he’d actually got done.
“So it was probably more relief I suppose, just to get a win out of the way, but a bit of joy as well.
“My first winner though – I’ll never forget it.”
Damien got his start by working for Gordon Richards Racing, after approaching the stable “probably about three years ago” and is now foreman.
“I started working there, got more confident, got better jobs, and took the punt to get my licence and get a horse,” he said.
“I definitely want to make training my career, but at the moment working for Gordon is my number on job.
“If I get one or two horses on the side I can work them at the end of the morning, but I’m in no rush right now to leave Gordon and go out on my own.
“I’m more than happy doing what I’m doing, but another one or two horses would be nice.”
Formerly trained by Gordon, City Beats ran at the Kangaroo Island Cup carnival early this year and was identified by Damien as a possible option for his first training foray.
“After Kangaroo Island he needed a spell and I think the owners, with Gordon, thought he’s probably not worth spelling again and bringing up again to just knock off one or two provincial wins,” Damien said.
“So they decided to sell. Working there, I knew he was a lovely little horse and I thought he’d be the perfect first horse me to train.”
Damien is grateful for the opportunities sent his way by Gordon, including his role with one of Australia’s best sprinters.
“Gordon’s been great for me,” he said.
“He’s probably got three really good horses at the moment, and I’ve sort of been there through that. When Gytrash’s in Adelaide he doesn’t leave the box without me.
“It’s no surprise to me what Gytrash’s done. He’s just a star.”
IMAGE: Trainer Damien Moyle at Morphettville on Saturday with his first winner, City Beats, and strapper Nicole Brown.