This article first appeared in The Age, 10 January 2009. I’m pleased to report that the Merton Races are still going strong.
Travel through the Yarra Valley, heading north-north-east. Beyond the Great Dividing Range and the towns of Yea and Yarck, not far from Bonnie Doon, there’s a little place called Merton.
Known as the gateway to the snowfields, Merton is a general store with petrol pumps, an airstrip mown through a neighbouring paddock, a scattering of farms, and a race track in an open field that has been home to a racing club since 1865.
Merton’s annual race meeting is held on the first day of each new year. Half-a-dozen horses burst from the barriers shortly after lunch to run the first of six races…
Read the full story here.
Image above: Merton races, 2009; Shirley Bateman