A project former champion trainer Peter Moody undertook to young international horses has payed dividends as Shepard added to his record at Mornington.
Shephard, winner of Saturday’s Vale Les Obriem “Craftsman” Handicap, was one of five foals Moody purchased at the Tattersalls Sale at Newmarket in the UK towards the end of 2016.
The five horses were sent to Waikato Stud in New Zealand to grow out before transferring to Australia a year ago to begin the build-up for their racing careers.
Three, all prepared by David Brideoake, have been successful, with the remaining two, in training with Peter Stokes, set to race in the next six months.
Shepard extended his winning sequence to three from four starts after victories at Sale and Bendigo and has now earned a short break.
“I bought them as foals with middle distance and staying pedigrees just to see if we can develop our own stayers rather than buying one that was already developed,” Moody said.
“Basically I worked on the theory I could buy five for the price of one ready-made project and to date they’ve all shown enough ability.
“We gave them half-mile trials knowing it would be too short but good for education and as soon as we started to stretch their workout, they showed something and they’ve got unbelievable lung capacity.”
Moody said Shepard would take a break and return for an autumn campaign.
“You dream in the autumn he might be an Adelaide Cup horse, maybe a Sydney Cup horse and the money is there for those staying races,” Moody said.
“We saw today he was off the bit over 2400 metres but he kept coming and could have gone another lap.”
Headed by runner-up Vellaspride early in the straight, Shepard rallied under Clayton Douglas to score a short-head win, with Alienated 1-1/4 lengths away in third place.