Fat Al returned to the winners circle for the first time since his Epsom Handicap victory with a strong performance in the 2014 Golden Mile at Bendigo this afternoon; capping off a sensational day for trainer Peter Moody.
Moody took out the Royal Randwick Guineas with Dissident in the previous race in Sydney and made it three feature race wins for a day when Fat Al battled home strongly to score a narrow win from Bel Thor and Bass Strait.
Fat Al has failed to fire since winning the Epsom Handicap during the 2012 Spring Racing Carnival, but returned to a semblance of his best form with a third place finish in the Group 3 TAB Rewards Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on March 1 before his tough Golden Mile win.
Luke Nolen remained in Bendigo to partner the Moody charges, rather than head to Sydney, and was able to bring up their 700th win as a combination after winning with Splash Of Moet earlier in the day.
Nolen was clearly delighted to bring up the significant milestone and was quick to pay credit to the trainer that gave him the opportunity to ride equine superstar Black Caviar and a number of other Group 1 winners.
“It is good to knock off number 700 and I am pretty chuffed,” Nolen said after the race.
“It has been a hell of a ride and I have to thank Peter Moody; he threw me a lifeline eleven years ago.
“He is pretty unsophisticated and that is not taking a pot shot at him at all; his instructions don’t vary to often and he usually leaves it to me.
“He has a bark, but his bark is a lot worse than his bite.
“We are pretty good mates, as good as a trainer and a jockey can be mates I suppose, and we have been a team for a long time.”
Macedon Lodge import Shikarpour was extremely well-backed in the lead-up to the race, after performing strongly at the highest level of racing in Europe, but he faded badly in the final stages of the race and failed to beat home a single runner.
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2014 Golden Mile Results
|1||1||FAT AL||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||–||9||58.5kg||$11|
|2||9||BEL THOR||Wez Hunter||Chris Symons||1L||5||54kg||$17|
|3||6||BASS STRAIT (NZ)||David Hayes||Stephen Baster||1.1L||3||54.5kg||$7.50|
|4||16||LONDON STRIPE (IRE)||Pat Carey||Patrick Moloney (a)||1.85L||7||54kg||$31|
|5||12||FRESHWATER STORM (NZ)||Tony Parker||James Winks||2.05L||10||54kg||$18|
|6||3||MOURINHO||Peter Gelagotis||Steven Arnold||2.15L||12||57kg||$8|
|7||11||SPILLWAY (GB)||David Hayes||Daniel Moor||2.55L||14||54kg||$13|
|8||8||ANCIENT KING (IRE)||Peter G Moody||Vlad Duric||3.3L||2||54kg (cd 54.5kg)||$18|
|9||7||ERASET||Danny O’Brien||Ryan Maloney||3.4L||4||54.5kg||$14|
|10||14||TIGERLAND (NZ)||Matt Laurie||Damian Lane||3.6L||1||54kg||$7.50|
|11||13||OUR HAND OF FAITH||Darren Weir||Ms Michelle Payne||6.1L||6||54kg||$8|
|12||2||ZABEELIONAIRE (NZ)||Leon Corstens||Jake Noonan||7.6L||11||57.5kg||$81|
|13||4||GOTTA TAKE CARE||Darren Weir||Jack Hill||8.85L||13||55.5kg||$151|
|14||15||YULALONA||John Salanitri||Dean Holland||12.6L||15||54kg||$101|
|15||10||SHIKARPOUR (IRE)||Robert Hickmott||Chad Schofield||17.35L||8||54kg||$3.90F|