Moody left 'hollow' after Cup defeat
Last month, when Peter Moody watched Incentivise win his first race at Flemington, he did so as he stood next to Hall of Fame trainer Bart Cummings' statue. He joked at the time that he was hoping the late and great Cups King could channel him some luck and some of his secrets.
COVID-19 restrictions meant access to Bart's statue was off limits for racing participants for Lexus Melbourne Cup Day on Tuesday and so Moody had to modify his routine.
Instead, he found a lonely blocked-off area which was already thick with cigarette butts.
"I've watched a few (races) from here," Moody said, kicking away some of the butts.
The only other trainer near him was Anthony Freedman, so Moody was supremely confident he would not be disturbed as one of life's big moments was about to arrive.
He had the overwhelming favourite for the Lexus Melbourne Cup in Incentivise and although Bart was no good to him this time as his statue stood on the other side of the fence, Moody felt he had done all he could to present his horse in the best order to tackle his toughest assignment.
The field jumped away and Incentivise came across looking for a spot. He was three-wide out of the straight but soon moved to the outside of the leader as the field took off down the Maribyrnong River side.
"They haven't done it hard, have they?" came the rhetoric question from Moody as the field settled into their positions, with his horse running second and seemingly in control of the race.
His horse dashed a few lengths clear on straightening, but Moody sat as quiet as a mouse. He knew Incentivise's weak spot was his unfamiliarity with the 3200-metre trip and so there was no thought of producing an early crow.
His fears suddenly materialised as the red and royal blue colours of last year's Caulfield Cup winner suddenly blurred into vision.
She ran by his horse to put an end to a glorious dream of turning a Toowoomba maiden winner just six months ago into a Caulfield and Lexus Melbourne Cup winner.
He had come so close, but ultimately fell just short. The emotions that had raged through his body during the race had been quelled by defeat.
His horse was brave and had been beaten by a superstar mare on the biggest stage of all.
"It's a bit hollow," was all he could manage as the field thundered past the post.
The dream was lost but as his assistant trainer Katherine Coleman said later: "We were both a bit flat at the end of the day but we've just run second in the Lexus Melbourne Cup so we can't be too disappointed."