"It doesn’t matter what sporting field you are in – that level of dominance is admired" Peter Moody, Trainer (Photo by Mark Dadswell/Getty Images)
By Sarah Marinos
He is synonymous with the success of one of Australia's greatest racehorses - Black Caviar. After a four-year break filled with new opportunities, champion trainer Peter Moody, is ready to return to where his heart lies
Four 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,” says Moody.
“I wish things hadn’t happened the way they did but I think a lot of positives have come out of the past few years, such as a lifestyle change. I’ve also been able to do some travelling without the day-to-day rigors of having a team of horses.”
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.
“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.”
Black Caviar ridden by Luke Nolan wins the Black Caviar Lightning Stakes (G1).
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 – hence the reason I am going back to training,” says Moody.
“I’ve had a good freshen up and I’m looking forward to getting back to the competitive side of the business. 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’ has taken on a variety of roles within the racing industry. He’s an ambassador for Ladbrokes and is a consultant and ‘sounding board’ to Rosemont Stud and Wylie Dalziel, advising on racing and breeding stock. Moody has also taken on media roles, currently with Channel Ten, and with racing media.
“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!” laughs Moody.
His time away from training has allowed Moody to enjoy more family time with his wife and three daughters at their Belgrave South farm. And he’s indulged his love of travelling and Australian military history touring sites in France, Turkey, Greece, Palestine and Vietnam.
“Having more time with my family has been 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 now, once he obtains his licence again, he plans to return to training around May – albeit on a smaller scale.
“By doing it on a smaller scale, I can enjoy my family life and have success as a racehorse trainer again. I have a group of my own horses but I will start predominantly with young unraced stock and hopefully we can build a formidable team to compete in metropolitan racing,” says Moody.
“I’m not chasing premierships. I will be training for a small group of core owners who’ve been with me for a long time, and my own bloodstock interests, too. I want to be strong and competitive but I don’t want the pressures I had previously.”
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,” says 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.”