Peter Moody is making his mark on the world of racing with a formidable talent nurtured from a childhood in outback Queensland.
Story By Annabelle Brayley
As a rising winter sun struggles to glimmer through showers over Caulfield Racetrack in Melbourne, the trainers’ tower is humming with quiet chatter backed by the rustle of early morning papers and the whistle of the wind outside. Intermittently, one of the incumbent trainers opens a window and confers with their passing track workers on the morning’s schedule and outcomes. As Peter Moody watches the last of his horses come in from morning training, they have already been at the track for more than three hours. Another busy working day is well underway.
“People think racing is glamorous and on the surface, it is,” the leading trainer says. “But there’s a lot of hard work, involving a lot of unseen people, that goes on behind the scenes. This business is tough on families because horses have to be cared for 24 hours a day, seven days a week, every week of the year. You have to have good people around you and I’ve been lucky enough to have good people around me all my life.”
Peter enjoys training but it’s not the focus of his existence and he can easily see himself retiring from it and doing something else. Speculation that the training facility at Caulfield will close does not concern him unduly, as he believes “it won’t [close] for some years yet and by the time it does, we may be out of here anyway”. Whatever happens, he will always have an interest in horses as he is, by definition, a horseman.
Like most station kids, Peter grew up around horses. His parents regularly raced and he and his three older sisters learned to ride as they were learning to walk on “Alpha”, the grazing property his family owned east of Wyandra, in south-west Queensland. Peter learned on an old stock horse called ‘Doubtful’ and at the age of three, was given his own pony. Up at the Neimenmulla Pony Club, held on Rosevale Station, they nicknamed him ‘Georgie Moore’ after the famous Queensland-born jockey who rode, in a history-making partnership, for the legendary TJ Smith. The die was cast.
This story excerpt is from Issue #61
Outback Magazine: Oct/Nov 2008