Peter Moody has made a winning return to the training ranks with Shepard at Ballarat.
A four-time Melbourne trainers’ premiership winner and the man who prepared the champion Black Caviar during her 25-start unbeaten career, Moody had his first runner in more than four years on Sunday.
Moody stepped away from training in 2016 after he was suspended for six months as a result of Lidari returning a cobalt reading above the allowed level after he finished second in the 2014 Turnbull Stakes.
Moody was found not guilty of intentionally administering cobalt to affect Lidari’s performance but the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board found him guilty of a lesser charge which incurred him a six-month suspension.
He opted to close his large training business at Caulfield rather than appoint an interim trainer and bowed out after the William Reid Stakes meeting at The Valley in March 2016 at which he won the Group One feature with Flamberge.
Moody has kept involved in racing with various roles including as a bloodstock advisor and in the media, and earlier this year announced he would return to training.
He now has stables at Pakenham and Northern hemisphere-bred Shepard, who Moody owns, was his first runner back on Sunday and won a benchmark-78 over 2000m by 2-3/4-lengths with Luke Nolen in the saddle.
Four-year-old Shepard had previously been trained by David Brideoake for his first six starts, registering three wins.
Moody said Shepard was a lovely staying horse and everything panned out well in Sunday’s race when they went along at a nice gallop.
“And he did the rest,” Moody told broadcaster Racing.com.
“Much thanks to my great mate, David Brideoake, (Brideoake’s assistant) Alex Woodhams and his team.
“They’ve done a tremendous job and they’ve looked after this horse very well his whole career.
“So thanks to them.
“I reckon I’ve improved him in seven days though, just to let David know that.”
Moody and Nolen formed a highly successful combination before the trainer’s hiatus and it was fitting Nolen was aboard Shepard in Moody’s return.
“It was nice to have Luke there today and do the job for us,” Moody said.
“He’s been a big part of my career and if he keeps riding them like that he’ll be a bigger part of it going forward.”