May 11 2020 Peter Moody returns a winner
Peter Moody returned to training the way he left it – with a winner – thanks to a dominant display by Shepard at Ballarat on Sunday.
The man best known as the trainer of former champion sprinter Black Caviar celebrated victory with his first runner in more than four years when the imported gelding cruised to victory in the Hertz Ballarat BM78 Handicap (2000m).
Shepard was ridden to victory by Luke Nolen, who rode Black Caviar to 22 of her 25 victories and has ridden more winners for Moody than any other rider, which added to the satisfaction of the win.
“It was nice to have Luke there today and do the job for us,” Moody said. “He’s been a big part of my career and if he keeps riding them like that he’ll be a bigger part of it going forward.”
Nolen, who guided Shepard, a easing $2.30 favourite to a 2.75-length win over Arty Lucas, who was heavily backed from $9 in early markets to start the $2.50 second elect.
“It’s great to be back riding for Peter and combining early for a win,” Nolen said.
Shepard was Moody’s first runner since March 24, 2016, the night that Flamberge won the William Reid Stakes at The Valley.
Moody’s break from training was enforced by stewards, suspended for six months on cobalt-related charges, but took extra time away while maintaining a hand in the industry via bloodstock and work in the media.
Based at Caulfield when he won his four Melbourne Trainers’ Premierships, his return has been with a much smaller team at Pakenham.
Moody has only had Shepard, a son of Sea The Moon whom he owns outright, for around a week and while he thanked former trainer David Brideoake he did so with a good-humoured jibe.
“Thanks to my great mate David Brideoake and Alex Woodhams and his team down there (at Mornington), they’ve done a tremendous job, they’ve looked after this horse very well through his whole career.
“Thanks to them, but I reckon I’ve improved him in seven days, just to let David know.”