After four years away from training, Peter Moody is back — and happy to chew the fat.
Moody returned to the Group 1 scene last Saturday with his star three-year-old colt Glenfiddich, who ran third in the Memsie Stakes.
The Pakenham-based trainer tackled some serious racing issues during a break at his stables.
BEN DORRIES: Rightio, the whip rules — have your say.
PETER MOODY: Just leave it to the stewards. These racing bodies, they are tying the stewards’ hands. We pay the stewards and they are professionals, let them adjudicate and don’t go tying their hands with ridiculous rules — and stop trying to appease the greenies, tree-huggers and minority groups.
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BD: So do you want the whip rules abolished?
PM: P— them off, full stop. Let the stewards adjudicate with a common-sense attitude, which I’ve got no doubt they can do. I also think riders in this day and age are educated to ride their horses differently — the Greg Hall and Mick Dittman days that we all grew up with as kids, and very much appreciated, that is a bygone era. Riders these days don’t ride like them, like those guys used to regardless of the whip rules — and 95 per cent of the riders these days couldn’t bruise a fly anyway.
BD: What do you make of racing’s interstate wars between NSW and Victoria?
PM: Competition is healthy, but I urge both states, and they are both doing a fair job, don’t forget the bottom end of racing. Keep pumping it up.
BD: Queensland harness racing trainer Darrel Graham says don’t bother fighting cobalt charges because you will go broke trying. You agree?
PM: Exactly. It’s a shame that this ridiculous substance has brought about the downfall of so many good people, myself included.
BD: Luke Nolen says you’re less cranky and easier to get along with now. True?
PM: Yup. I’m more relaxed, I’ve got less pressure, less people to deal with, and less horses to worry about. I’m no less serious about training winners, but I’ve just got less to worry about.
BD: Why do you click so well with Luke?
PM: He is a top-class jockey, I don’t think a lot of other people recognise his talents. If you get him on the right stock, he gets the job done as good as anyone. We have never been overly close — we would have sat down and had a meal together eight or 10 times over the last 20 years. But we are brutally honest with one another and we assess where we think one another is at, business-wise, horse-wise and riding-wise. And we both have an ability to have our say and then move on with it.
BD: It must have been good to be back on the Group 1 stage in the Memsie?
PM: It’s exciting for everyone when the better class of horses come out and are active. For me, it was gratifying to be back on that stage so quickly. But like I’ve said, the race, it’s only fun if you are winning them.
BD: Have training methods changed much since you were last a trainer?
PM: No. Training horses is common sense, you work them and you feed them, you feed them and you work them.
BD: What about racing’s new COVID landscape? Must have been a head-spinner as you started up again?
PM: It’s made life full-stop very different, not only racing, but everything. We are very blessed that the racing administrators and authorities have seen fit to keep racing going. I think racing participants themselves should be extremely proud of the way they have worked hard to make sure everything does keep going. It’s taken me a while to realise a few of my fellow trainers weren’t wearing masks all the time.
BD: Black Caviar — you still give her a pat and feed her a carrot occasionally?
PM: I see her every year when I go up to the Hunter Valley to look at the yearlings. So maybe once or twice a year, it’s always good to see how she’s going.
BD: What about something for the punters — one of your horses they can follow through the spring.
PM: Glenfiddich is the standout. And probably the European horse when he arrives, Nickajack Cave. (Nickajack Cave is Melbourne Cup nominated after being bought by a syndicate which includes some of Black Caviar’s former owners).