The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
Peter Moody not only hit the century of wins for the racing season on Saturday, but surpassed it thanks to a double shot of success at Flemington.
Most famous for training the world’s fastest horse, Black Caviar, the Queensland-bred now Melbourne-based Moody has enjoyed a blistering season on the track.
Flemington wins on Saturday by Sidecar and Testascana saw Moody’s name etched onto an elite list as he became just the third Victorian trainer to reach 100 city winners in a single season.
In a fitting result in reaching 100.5 winners, both horses are offspring of Testa Rossa, one of Moody’s favourite sires.
“Two of my first best horses Testifiable and Tereschenko were by Testa Rossa and I suppose I’ve had a soft spot for him since,” Moody said.
“They’re bread and butter horses, they win winter and summer and they don’t cost a lot.”
Only Lee Freedman (115 winners in 2005-06) and fellow Hall of Famer David Hayes (103 winners in 2006-07) have also achieved the feat Moody described as “extremely gratifying.”
His century of season successes also saw Moody secure the Melbourne Trainers Premiership, finishing an incredible 62 winners clear of the second-placed Mark Kavanagh which is a record premiership winning margin in Victoria.
“I’m extremely proud, there’s no one producer than me,” Moody said.
“To even be mentioned in the same breath as D.A. Hayes and D. Freedman, that’s beyond my wildest dreams.
“It’s just been a wonderful year, I’ve had great support from a lot of great owners, terrific staff and the jockeys supported me well.
“It’s just been a tremendous season.
“Probably one of the most pleasing things about the season is our strike-rate (20.36 per cent in Melbourne),” Moody said.
“I’ve probably had more runners than a lot of the stables, but they are coming at the right rate and that’s been very satisfying.”
Undefeated sprinter Black Caviar’s six successive Group 1 wins played a massive hand in making Moody also the leading trainer for Group 1 winners for the season with nine in total.
Along with the efforts of the horses and their trainer, Moody said it was the hard work of his entire team that made such a thriving season possible.
“Loyalty is undersold in this industry, it’s a big part of my stable,” he said.
“I’ve got a great team around me.
“My business is about return to owners.
“It’s like a mechanic, if they do a good job you’ll go back.
“A lot of my owners were with me eight years ago when I trained 150 winners in a season, but a lot were in the country.
“We’ve just upgraded the cattle.”
While there is no denying Moody’s dominance in Melbourne for the past season, looking towards the spring the chances he has in the big spring treble are still slight in comparison.
Moody’s maiden Group 1 victory came a decade ago with Amalfi winning the 2001 Victoria Derby, and since then he has had just two starters in Australia’s racing showpiece – the Melbourne Cup.
Schumpeter finished 22nd in the 2003 Melbourne Cup while Vouvray finished 15th in 2005.
The trainer has also only been represented twice in the past 10 editions of the Caulfield Cup with Vouvray running fourth in 2004 before their disappointing 18th the following year.
His best success in the Cox Plate was Sky Cuddle’s fourth to the mighty Makybe Diva in 2005, which was also Moody’s sole Cox Plate runner in the last 10 years.
“Look, of course I’d love to win one of those big races, but I’m not going off to Europe to buy stayers and bring them back for that purpose,” he said.
“It’s not a matter of not being able to train those types of horses because I’ve won plenty of Derbys and Oaks races but they were all well-planned campaigns that came off.”
Moody may have his chance at not just one, but all three of the spring majors this carnival with Lights Of Heaven.
The undefeated Zabeel filly has won all four of her race starts to date, including her most recent turf victory in the Group 1 Schweppes Oaks (2008m) at Morphettville in March.
“She seems to have come back in very good shape but I still don’t really know where she’s going to end up,” Moody said of Lights Of Heaven.
“She might be a cracking miler and maybe a Cox Plate horse as she’s not that typical Zabeel, big and rangy.”
Moody will nominate Lights Of Heaven for a range of spring features before deciding on her final campaign including the $2.5 million Group 1 Caulfield Cup (22400m) on October 15, the $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 22 and the $6 million Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) running as Flemington Race 7 on Tuesday November 1, 2011.
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