Peter Moody has signed off from his training career with a deeply satisfying and emotional Group One win by Flamberge in the William Reid Stakes.
Thursday’s meeting was Moody’s last before he starts a six-month suspension for a cobalt offence and he has signalled he has no intention to return to training.
The Moody-trained Black Caviar numbered two William Reid Stakes among her 15 Group One victories and while Flamberge might not be a champion, he holds a special place.
“I had the joy of winning it with a special horse and this little bloke’s become pretty special too,” Moody said.
“I thought I’d reached a lot of highs with Black Caviar but to close it out like this tonight … that makes it impossible to come back because that can’t be bettered.”
Flanked by his family as the race was run, Moody punched the air as Flamberge stuck his head out in a driving finish to defeat Holler by a short half-head.
“He’s a remarkable little horse,” Moody said.
“It’s no secret he grew on us over a period of time. I didn’t see a big future in him but he just kept winning races.
“When he won The Goodwood we were over the moon. Then he won an Oakleigh Plate.
“And to do this tonight, it’s unbelievably special.
“It will stick with me for a while.”
Moody said he had no regrets as he soaked in Flamberge’s win but did admit it had been an emotional day, starting when he left the trainer’s hut at Caulfield in the morning.
“Listen, I’ll probably get in the car and have a cry,” Moody said.
Moody’s suspension came from an elevated level of cobalt returned by Lidari after his second in the 2014 Turnbull Stakes.
Although Moody was found not guilty of intentionally administering cobalt, he was found guilty of two lesser charges and his stable practices were criticised.
Rather than fight the ban or put in a caretaker trainer, he decided to close his large business and walk away.
The 46-year-old trained his first Group One winner when Amalfi won the 2001 Victoria Derby and he has won four Melbourne trainers’ premierships.
Black Caviar was named Australian Horse of the Year three times and Moody also trained Typhoon Tracy and Dissident to win the title.