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Moody's passion can’t be ignored

17 February 2023 Written by Sarah Marinos

He is synonymous with the success of one of Australia’s greatest racehorses – Black Caviar – but champion trainer Peter Moody has much more to come.

A few years ago, Peter Moody’s career suddenly and unexpectedly changed. The trainer of Black Caviar and the man behind much of the mare’s success retired after a cobalt issue.

“I really didn’t know what the future held, but I was always going to be involved in racing in some way, shape or form. I just wasn’t allowed to train,” said Moody.

“I wish things hadn’t happened the way they did but I think a lot of positives came out of those years, such as a lifestyle change.”

At the height of his training career, Moody had upwards of 400 horses and around 70 staff across a two-state operation. Of course, his most famous protégé was Black Caviar and the undefeated horse and trainer had an enduring relationship.

“Black Caviar is the reason people have heard of Peter Moody but I’m proud to have trained three Australian Horse of the Years – Black Caviar, Typhoon Tracy and Dissident. They all retired as Group 1 winners at the top of their game and I’d like to think that indicates I had their best interests at heart. I made sure they went out at the top of their careers, and not as an afterthought after something went amiss,” says Moody.

Black Caviar ridden by Ben Melham winning the Group 1 VRC Sprint Classic in 2010. (Racing Photos)

“The uniqueness of Black Caviar is that she is undefeated (25 wins). She was an unbelievable equine athlete and she was victorious on each and every occasion. It doesn’t matter what sporting field you are in – that level of dominance is admired.”

Moody’s entrance to the racing industry was as a 15-year-old working for legendary thoroughbred trainer, TJ Smith, at Randwick.

“It captured my imagination almost immediately and I knew that’s what I wanted to do with my life. That’s never changed. My love of the industry is all about the horses – that’s the be-all and end all.”

During his time away from training, ‘Moods’ took on various roles within the racing industry, including consulting, ambassadorial duties and media work.

“I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the media work. I didn’t think it was for me but the work kept coming so I must have pleased someone!” he laughed.

"She was an unbelievable equine athlete and she was victorious on each and every occasion. It doesn’t matter what sporting field you are in – that level of dominance is admired.”

His time away from training also allowed Moody to enjoy more family time with his wife and three daughters at their Belgrave South farm. And he indulged his love of travelling and Australian military history touring sites in France, Turkey, Greece, Palestine and Vietnam.

“Having more time with my family was a highlight. My wife and I maintain and spell our own horses and look after a few clients’ horses, too. My wife is also an avid showjumper and I enjoy helping her with that.”

Moody’s twin daughters, Celine and Breann, play in the AFLW and he has enjoyed watching their games. But, as soon as he obtained his licence again, he returned to training – albeit on a smaller scale.

“I want to be strong and competitive, but I don’t want the pressures I had previously.”

He has certainly made an impact since his return, most recently notching up a treble at Christmas Race Day at Flemington. Moody has trained 25 Melbourne winners this season and trails last season’s Melbourne premiership winners Ciaron Maher and David Eustace by 11 wins. According to Racing Australia he currently has 191 horses in his name, and his current strike-rate in Melbourne of 21.36 per cent is greater than any of his previous four consecutive title-winning seasons from 2009/10 to 2012/13.

Moody’s Best Black Caviar Moments

  • The three Lightning Stakes wins: the third one was named in her honour.
  • When she became the first horse in Australia to break 10 seconds for a furlong during the 2012 Lightning Stakes.
  • “The courage of her win in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes in England at Royal Ascot in 2012 was probably her greatest ever performance,” said Moody. “She overcame a lot of adversity to win and it showed her true grit and determination. I had been there three times previously without success and it’s a long way home from Ascot when you get beat! It was nice to finally get the job done.”