Trainer Peter Moody fights on many fronts as cobalt case intensifies   Leave a comment

Trainer Peter Moody fights on many fronts as cobalt case intensifies

Moody spent half an hour silently listening to his lawyer, Matthew Stirling, tell stewards just how catastrophic it would be for a wide range of people if they were to confiscate his licence for as long as it takes to determine whether he is guilty of using cobalt to make one of his many horses go faster.

Horse trainer Peter Moody faces cobalt hearing

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TO slightly rework a punters’ adage, the racing game giveth — and it taketh away.

Melbourne’s highest-profile trainer Peter Moody was, potentially, the perfect example of that on Wednesday as the fight to save his reputation, business and career intensified.

Racing’s policemen consider the sport’s reputation and integrity have been put in severe jeopardy by Moody and his colleagues, Mark Kavanagh, Danny O’Brien and Lee and Shannon Hope.

You don’t need a long memory to appreciate the irony of Moody finding himself being accused of defiling racing’s image.

It’s only a couple of years since he was overseeing a feel-good story that probably did more for the sport than Makybe Diva’s hat-trick of Melbourne Cups.

The mighty sprinting mare Black Caviar’s flawless 25-race career put her on a public pedestal not far short of Phar Lap and made Moody, if not exactly a hero, then certainly much more recognisable and richer — a star himself.

Peter Moody was the centre of attention after his hearing. Picture: Colleen Petch

Peter Moody was the centre of attention after his hearing. Picture: Colleen Petch Source: News Corp Australia

And now his world is threatening to come tumbling down because Lidari, a horse maybe 1 per cent as famous as Black Caviar, has returned an analytical reading he cannot explain.

What became clear on Wednesday is just how vast that world is and how much he and many others stand to lose.

Moody habitually presents as the laid-back Queensland bushie he once was and rocked up dressed in moleskin-style pants, open-neck shirt, no tie and a check jacket, with only the often-seen race-day Akubra missing.

That’s his natural style but it slightly disguises the reality he is actually a seriously heavy-hitter in a tough industry that spits out losers with little sentiment.

His lawyer revealed his business turns over $15 million and his weekly wages bill for 70 staff is $50,000. Terminating their jobs would cost $200,000 in payouts.

He is responsible for 360 horses in various stages of preparation on behalf of owners, while the vets, farriers and other service providers around his Caulfield base are also part of a large food chain.

Peter Moody employs 70 staff and has 360 horses in his care. Picture: Colleen Petch

Peter Moody employs 70 staff and has 360 horses in his care. Picture: Colleen Petch Source: News Corp Australia

And his legal team is not fighting for him purely out of the goodness of their hearts — or a tip for Saturday.

With so much at stake, this is a desperately difficult scenario for all concerned, with Stirling speaking of “tension” between racing’s integrity and the rights of the individuals.

The stewards are compelled to protect public confidence, but what if they withdraw the licences and the five trainers then all go broke, only to be ultimately found not guilty by the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board? What a disaster.

Chief steward Terry Bailey floated the option of freezing training fees until the moment of truth arrives, but Moody said every dollar was funnelled back into the business and it would be hard to survive.

Still locked in limbo, he left quickly, saying: “I have to get home and organise tomorrow’s race meeting.”

That left one of racing’s biggest wheels continuing to turn — for now.

Originally published as Moody fights on many fronts

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Posted July 30, 2015 by belesprit09 in Uncategorized

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