Leading trainer Peter Moody has lashed the Caulfield track on Saturday, saying that the surface was “rooted” and favoured imported horses.
With four of the first five winners on the Group 1 program coming down the centre of the track, Moody took to social media before the running of the C.F. Orr Stakes, claiming “benchmark 70 horses” were winning group races.
Great to see benchmark 70 horses winning group races at Caulfield today. Good job watering track on race day. The best on speed on fence track in the land rooted from over watering to help expensive imports
— Peter Moody (@moodyracingpgm) February 12, 2022
Authorities revealed eight millimetres of irrigation was added to the Caulfield track prior to the running of the first race, which jumped at 12.40pm AEST.
Having started as a Good 4, the surface was upgraded to a Good 3, prior to the running of race six — the Group 3 Carlyon Cup (1600m) – where Moody’s Spanish Mission closed off well to run third.
The Melbourne Racing Club defended their decision to water the track on race morning, saying that it is “very difficult to keep in line with policy” during the feature race days if the surface isn’t watered.
“The reality is we have to prepare a track in line with the (industry) policy and it’s very difficult to keep in line with policy in days like today if you don’t irrigate on race morning,” Jake Norton, the Melbourne Racing Club’s executive director of racing operations told Racing.com.
Sensational Australian debut by @MaddieRaymond93’s Earlswood (Pivotal) in the Gr3 TS Carlyon Cup @MelbRacingClub defeating Gr1 winner Callsign Mav. @RacingVictoria @LaneDamian pic.twitter.com/mNnMgyvRVX
— Breedingracing.com (@BreedingRacing) February 12, 2022
“Peter Moody’s opinion on tracks is one that I respect more than most, if not all commentators on the matter, but what is also true is we face a huge amount of criticism from trainers, jockeys, owners if we don’t have what is considered sufficient give,” Norton said.
“Track managers face a real conundrum, and we understand that on certain days it is going to suit certain horses and on others, it will suit others.
“But I think the fact that Tofane led and won in the C.F. Orr probably suggests that any perception of pattern was probably unfair.”
It wasn’t the first time that Moody has been vocal on social media, as he was fined in 2017 for tweeting about cobalt rules, while more recently in November, Moody was fined $2000 for comments made about the Western Australian Premier, Mark McGowan, on his podcast – Moody On The Mic.
Moody had four runners at Caulfield on Saturday, with Oxley Road (2nd in the Rubiton Stakes), Spanish Mission and Lucky Decision all finishing in the minor money, while Lightsaber beat just one runner home in the Group 1 feature after being tardy away from the barriers.
No fine for yesterday’s comments has been issued yet.