Good Shepard gives Moody great comeback
Comeback trainer Peter Moody could have his second runner as soon as Wednesday as his training resurrection takes off after securing his first winner for 1508 days at Ballarat on Sunday.
Young stayer Shepard, Moody's first runner since the 24th of March, 2016, defied a late betting drift and gave the trainer an easy watch over the closing stages as his long-time collaborator, jockey Luke Nolen, guided the four-year-old to a near three-length win.
Moody, a 56-time Group 1 winner, walked away from training in 2016 after receiving a six-month ban but recently found the hunger growing to return and set up a new stable at Pakenham.
The win was number 2576 for Moody's career, but one he said was "special" after such a long-time out.
As sole owner and trainer of Shepard, Moody was able to pocket all the $24,750 prizemoney too, which he said would be put to immediate use "buying more gear" for the 20-horses he already has under his care.
"It was just nice to get back there, win lose or draw to be honest. But it's always special with Luke (Nolen) as well. It was a nice way to kick it off," Moody told the Herald Sun.
"But I'm not kidding myself, I know it's not going to be a bed of roses. It will make it easier to get out of bed for one morning at least, and that will be Monday.
"I have been watching my horses go around from afar for a while and it probably wasn't that different. It was just a relief to kick off in that manner.
"But it was just good to be there, and basically smell the horse crap."
Moody has made it clear his stable won't be exploding in the sort of numbers he boasted when he was among the country's top trainers before he stepped away.
Instead he wants to focus on horses he owns, many with his wife Sarah, and for select clients.
"We've got 20-odd horses in the stables at the moment and will hang around that number for a few weeks," he said.
"And then we'll start bringing a few young ones in. It's a good number for us to kick off with and get everything sorted.
"By keeping a manageable team I can look to do the right thing by clients and close friends, and hopefully win a few races along the way."
Moody also paid tribute to fellow trainer David Brideoake, who had been training Shepard until a handover last week.
"The Brideoake's have done a tremendous job, they've looked after this horse very well his whole career."
Moody said his next runner would be Cernan, another young-stayer, which could run either at Sandown on Wednesday, or later in the week.
Originally published as Good Shepard gives Moody great comeback