Peter Moody with Black Caviar at Flemington (Image: AAP Photos / Vince Caligiuri)
Peter Moody has saddled more than one thousand horses in the tie-up stalls at Flemington and this Saturday he returns with one runner after four years away from the game.
The champion horseman has trained 162 Flemington winners, including 14 at Group 1 level. On six occasions it was Black Caviar who he was waiting for at the winner's stall.
While Moody has been a regular at our most prestigious racecourse in recent times with media or ownership commitments, it's now the prospect of arriving with a gear bag in one hand and a lead rope in the other that has him excited.
"I suppose it doesn't make much of a difference in terms of where we go but Flemington really is a special place," Moody said.
"It's going to be great to get back there again and to be back on the side of the fence that I belong.
"I am enjoying it (training again), my body is not but my mind is really enjoying the challenge and generally handling the horses.
"It's something in the last 15 years of my training career I didn't really get the chance to do because I was too busy."
Moody's sole runner is the progressive stayer Shepard in the first race on the card on Living Legends Race Day, the Rogan Josh Stayers Trophy over 2500m.
Shepard has won four of his seven starts and was Moody's first winner back earlier this month.
"Shepard has got good upside there's no doubt about that," he said.
"He is like a young footballer compared to these older, battle-hardened stayers (he will line up against).
"He's a baby compared to them, so it will be seasoning for him.
"He's got good upside, but it would not surprise me if a more seasoned horse beats him on the day, but we'll see where he's at."
"This will be the first time he's ever run 13 days apart, he's had his runs spaced and there's no reason we can't poke along like Europeans do and have a run every month or so (until the spring), just keep him ticking over," he said.
"And there's not much use in sending him to the paddock in the middle of winter."
Moody's spring team is starting to take shape with news that this year's G1 Champagne Stakes second-placegetter Glenfiddich has been transferred from Robbie Griffiths.
Moody's Pakenham stable will only continue to grow and while it presents a fresh start, he quipped: "It's just the same really, the only difference is my backdrop is now Mount Baw Baw instead of the Caulfield campus of Monash University."