Australian trainers slam ‘inferior’ British racing
Friday 15 June 2012
By Geoffrey Riddle
There has been an absence of the usual brash Australian talk before Royal Ascot this year, but on touching down in Britain Peter Moody finally got the ball rolling this morning ahead of Black Caviar’s run in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes next week.
Moody was door-stepped at Abington Place stables having arrived overnight and immediately started to put into context what it means for the world's best sprinter to race at the Royal Meeting.
The trainer made it clear that he struggled with the concept of his champion sprinter running halfway across the world, and after accumulating £3,630,401 in prize-money during her unbeaten 21-race career he indicated that the £500,000 on offer for next Saturday's Group One sprint was risible.
"It is strange that we have to travel three quarters of the way around the world to race inferior opposition for inferior prize-money for her to stamp her greatness,” Moody said.
“There is no doubt it is a massive risk for her to come here and compete - really, for very little gain.
"That does not make a lot of sense to me. Horses of her ilk do not normally go out of their comfort zone.
"I think the owners are to be congratulated for risking her great record."
There is a rich history of Australian horses competing at the meeting since Choisir scored in both the King's Stand Stakes and the Golden Jubilee in 2003. Fellow raiders Miss Andretti, Scenic Blast and Takeover Target have all subsequently won in front of the Queen.
Moody, who raced Magnus twice at Ascot in 2007 and 2008, reported Black Caviar to be in similar shape this morning prior to her departure last week. Black Caviar lost 9kgs during her 30-hour transit from down under but her handler believes she in on the right track with regards to achieving her racing weight next week.
"I'm really hoping not to make a mug of myself or my horse," he added.
"She looks super, I’m really pleased when I saw her under saddle this morning.
"I thought it was the same horse I saw seven or eight days ago. That was most important for me."
Moody’s comments echo that of Paul Messara, the trainer of Ortensia, who represents Australia in the King’s Stand Stakes.
Messara’s mare was virtually retired before the 34-year-old trainer picked her up from a trip to the paddocks last year in a final effort to get her to fulfil her potential.
After the seven-year-old won a Listed contest at Flemington, she travelled by air to Perth where she won her first Group One contest before shipping to Dubai where she scored in the Group One Al Quoz sprint.
"Do I feel some inadequacy that I have to come over here and compete, yes, I think it does rankle," Messara said. "If your sprinters travelled to Australia to compete you'd get beaten by a furlong. We have the best sprinters, it's simple.
"Our sprinters win over here having been on a plane for over 30 hours, and very few of them are 100 per cent, but these are big occasions.
"You don't get many shots at days like this. I train around 30 to 40 horses and I may never have a horse as good as this again. If you come with a chance and you manage to win, it's a oncer."