Peter Moody has registered his first city winner since his return to training ranks with Cernan successful at Sandown.
After a four year break, Moody returned to training last month registering a winner with his first runner with Shepard scoring at Ballarat on May 10.
Cernan was placed at Sandown three days later before placing at Geelong last Friday ahead of winning the Ladbrokes Money Back Odds Handicap (2400m) on Wednesday.
The win was Moody’s first city winner since Flamberge took out the Group One William Reid Stakes at Moonee Valley in March 2016.
Moody stepped away from training after that win when suspended for six months as a result of Lidari returning a cobalt reading above the allowed level, following a second placing in the 2014 Turnbull Stakes.
He was found not guilty of intentionally administering cobalt to affect Lidari’s performance with the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board finding him guilty of a lesser charge.
Under the urgings of Luke Nolen, Cernan ($3.50) wore down the leader Fanciful Toff ($5) to score by a short-head with the $3.40 favourite Meteor Light two lengths away third.
“He’s a tough little horse and it took him every stride of the 2400 metres,” Moody told racing.com.
Wednesday’s victory was Moody’s fourth since his return and the now Pakenham-based trainer is happy with the results produced in just over three weeks since his first runner.
“The team’s going well, they’re consistent but we don’t have a superstar,” Moody said.
“Our best chances are in our younger brigade that are going to be six, 12, 18 months away from reaching their peak.
“We’ve just got to place these horses right, keep them in their grades and keep them ticking over.”
A treble in the opening three races on Wednesday’s program courtesy of Chequerboard, Splendoronthegrass and Power O’Hata has extended the lead of David and Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig to 11 in the Metropolitan Trainers’ Premiership over Ciaron Maher and David Eustace.
The treble also took the Lindsay Park team into the lead by one in the Victorian statewide premiership.
Apprentice Campbell Rawiller rode his first metropolitan winner guiding plunge horse Brilliant Concept home in the Ladbrokes Switch Handicap.