THE WEDNESDAY WHINGE has a new look but won’t be dispensing with the theme and focus on the THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE UGLY side of what is happening in racing. The Whinge will continue to provide an opportunity for The Cynics to Have Their Say. Thanks again for your support for the most read column on this website and one of the most read on racing websites in the country. Our popularity continues to grow despite the bagging it cops from some high profile officials, especially in Queensland, who cannot cope with constructive criticism of any kind. We encourage supporters – and critics – to continue to contribute but plan to restrict the Whinge to less than 10 of the best items each week. Our message to those who continually bag us is simple: IF YOU DON’T LIKE WHAT YOU READ, THEN DON’T REVISIT THE WHINGE.



EDITOR’S NOTE:AS so often happens in racing when a high profile identity hits a few hurdles there are those ready to sink the boot. By his own admission, Peter Moody has made his mistakes and no doubt he has some regrets. One could say he is living out the words of the song immortalized by Frank Sinatra: ‘I did it my way’. Champions who go down for the count usually bounce back from the canvas at some stage of their careers. Here’s hoping that’s the case with the boy from outback Queensland who one suspects still has some unfinished business in racing but little left to prove. Back in a different life, when covering Melbourne Cup carnivals, I had some memorable times with big Pete who was at then the travelling foreman for the Bill Mitchell stable. Sometimes we all need a change from what we do best. I hope we haven’t heard the last of P Moody as a trainer, even if it’s a comeback where it all began on a smaller scale in Queensland. But most of all I hope Moody is remembered for all the right reasons in racing – not the stumble, before the fall, that saw him put his family first, walk away from what he does best and hopefully live to fight another day in racing. So much has been written about his decision to suddenly quit the training business that some stories almost read like a racing obituary. Tens of thousands of words about the boy from the Queensland bush who made it to the big stage and even hit international headlines alongside The Queen with the achievements of his unbeaten mare Black Caviar.

But none of those stories came from the heart as much as the words of his COUSIN ALF MOODY who penned A TRIBUTE TO A MATE and gave it a send around via SMS. We felt it was too good to be read by only a handful of friends – that was albeit to preaching to the converted – and hopefully ALF won’t mind us reproducing that ‘tribute’ so that it can touch the hearts of many others who not only participate in racing but follow it and the deeds of its great achievers.



THIS is how ALF MOODY remembers a lifelong involvement with COUSIN PETE:

WE grew up together and shared the same interests (racing and any form of sports and that’s about where it stopped). We had a crack at any sport we had available to us in Charleville, even played lawn bowls for one semester as our chosen school sport (true). Not sure what that was about, think it was just the fact that it got us out of the school grounds. Pete was never going to be a Don Bradman or a Reg Gasnier but his application to everything was always carried out to the best of his ability, a trait that would stay with him on the journey he took through life.

We both finished school at completion of Year 10 (both with honors). We couldn’t be out of there quick enough. I mean we had so much to look forward to like roustabouting in tin shearing sheds in 45 degree heat (clever bastards). What was to be the biggest change in Pete’s life came soon after when one day whilst hanging out at the local go-to place, Chif’s Billiard Room, we got talking to good friend Brett (Bell Head) Cavanough and Brett, knowing our love of horse racing, said he could get us both strappers’ jobs with the legendary T J Smith in Sydney. After we finished telling him what a clown he was, Brett, true to his word, walked down to the local post office, got on a pay phone, made a call and returned some 10 minutes later with the words of, ‘go and get your shit together, you start when ya get there’. After taking a little bit of convincing that Bell Head was fair dinkum we rushed home to inform family that two 15-year-old bush boys were off to the bright lights of Sydney (pretty sure we hadn’t even seen traffic lights before). The next afternoon two excited louts loaded onto a greyhound bus and set off on their advenrture.

When we arrived it was not quite as expected. I was picturing Tulloch Lodge as rolling green lawns, spacious barns and living quarters. We arrived in a taxi to find a narrow strip stretching from one block though to the next block. There was a little office at the front and an old house beside it that housed about six or eight strappers that was our new home. The foreman showed us the ropes and gave us our start time for the morning. Pete took to it like a duck to water. We were doing 47 hours a week and clearing $112 a week. We also had to buy our own food, so there wasn’t much margin for error. Considering we both liked a beer, bet and a cigarette, the menu never improved much above tinned spaghetti and baked beans unless ya backed a winner. Downside to that was if ya missed, ya missed a meal as well. After about three months the blitz and glamour was wearing pretty thin with little Alf and I made an executive decision to head back to western Queensland and pursue my promising career in the shearing sheds for $300 a week and free mess. I wished Pete all the best, jumped on the big dog and headed home. I followed Pete’s progress fairly closely and touched base with him on the odd occasions. Being back in Charleville as Pete’s career started to really blossom it was great to see the interest people were showing in him and yu could sense that the town was fast becoming proud of his achievements, none moreso than me.

When I moved to Brisbane, not even sure when that was, but Pete was running Bill Mitchell’s Brisbane establishment and putting the polish on the brilliant sprinter General Nediym. It was great to be able to see more of Pete, Sarah and the girls who were young and cheeky then, because any time spent with that family is time well spent. Just getting used to seeing them on a regular basis and the big bastard packed everyone up and moved to Melbourne. In one of the toughest gigs in the world the big outback Queenslander’s impact was felt. This was only because of the amazing work ethic this man has shown over a long period of time. After the sores come the spoils and along came a once in a lifetime horse Black Caviar (Nelly). Even though through hard work, cold and wet mornings, sickness and health, Pete and Sarah deserved a horse like her, it showed the world just what sort of a man this great man was. The long jeopardy that he was able to extract out of that mare and produce her in pristine condition on 25 separate occasions to remain undefeated, words can’t really paint the picture of the enormity of that feat. Because Pete was able to get her back season after season he had to make so many sacrifices, first and foremost time spent with his beautiful family, mental and physical rest etc.

When Pete was in Brisbane, because we live across the road from the Doomben racecourse, if he had a window of more than an hour between his horses running he would duck over to beat the bullshit and have a gold stubbie and some peace and quiet. He was that tired one day he went to sleep sitting up with his hand in a packet of BBQ chips (I kid you not). But he could have 10 minutes and get up and go again.

The way he showcased the great mare for the people and the good of racing was like something out of a movie. You couldn’t have written a bitter script. The time he made for the public, the media (some of the same media that are sticking knives in him), the struggling race clubs he helped with donations of memorabilia and public appearances. The battlers who just wanted a handshake and a pat, he found the time. What a champion!

I’m gonna wrap this up. Getting a bit teary, but if this champion walks racing will be the big loser. Whatever you do I’ll support you mate. If you set up a hot dog stand at the footy I’ll buy because I know the rolls will be fresh, good quality savs and you’d have free sauce in four litre bottles, not 30 cent packets because that’s the champion you are.

God bless mate.




‘RATHER than try to find someone to blame for his decision to quit training, Peter Moody should have a good look in the mirror.

The buck stops with him. It wasn’t Chief Steward Terry Bailey or anyone else who – even unknowingly – took Lidari to the races with an illegal substance in its system.

Racing survived before Peter Moody emerged from the backblocks of Queensland and rocketed to international stardom courtesy of his champion mare Black Caviar. It will survive long after he has gone.

One would hope that he has second thoughts – perhaps after an enforced break from the sport – and returns to what he does best – training winners. In many ways he has been a great ambassador for racing. At other times he has carried on like a petulant schoolboy.

The racing public loved him back in the days when he would stay for hours after Black Caviar won to sign autographs. But he lost many of those fans with his continued insistence that he was being victimized by stewards before and after Lidari returned a positive to Cobalt.

There were some who believe Moody thought he deserved special treatment, that he was bigger than the industry itself and felt stewards had no right to treat him with the same ‘level playing field’ approach as other industry stakeholders.

The name Peter Moody will always have a place in Australian horse racing folklore. Here’s hoping he’s not remembered as the champion trainer who threw his toys out of the cot and gave up just because the going got tough.’



ALAN JACKSON of MELBOURNE sent this email:

‘THE racing media mates and supporters of Peter Moody – led by his No 1 fan Matt Stewart of the Herald Sun – will ensure he is remembered for all the right reasons.

But in the court of public opinion the jury is out. Moody isn’t the first top trainer to hit a roadblock in his training career and faced time on the sidelines. Many greats of the past have taken suspensions and disqualifications in their stride and returned better than ever.

Unfortunately, there is a growing school of opinion that big Pete thinks he is better than the rest. He has spat the dummy big time despite the fact some might say he was lucky to escape a far more lengthy period of disqualification than the six months that he suffered.

Perhaps he has been treated differently to others, like Leon Corstens when John Sadler took over the training of his team. But one could argue the situation is much different here as well with a greater team of horses, many of which are owned by Moody’s wife, Sarah.

Even the prospect of stewards appealing the term of suspension has upset him. Perhaps it was the deciding factor. But he could have appealed the outcome as well. From a tough talking, straight shooting bloke like Moody, one would have expected more fight than surrender.

I was once his biggest fan but he lost me with his attitude, resentful approach to stewards and pig-headedness on issues that confronted him post Black Caviar. A spell on the sidelines might convince Moody how much he misses training racehorses. If it does I would like to see him return on a smaller, more manageable and less stress basis, where it all began in Queensland – the industry there would welcome him with open arms.’




‘PLEASE spare us too many stories that the racing industry can’t survive without Peter Moody.

Matt Stewart has led the charge with a tear-jerker for his old mate in the Herald Sun where his dislike for Chief Steward Terry Bailey was impossible to hide.

Poor Matty still hasn’t got over losing the Australian Cup in that protest decision. How much did you actually have on the horse mate?

Unfortunately the Fairfax journalists’ strike meant the usual balanced debate on all things racing in Victoria – especially the Moody saga – went missing in action with Patrick Bartley unable to file (perhaps that life sentence handed down by Moody had something to do with it).

So we had to turn to the Racing Bitch out of Hong Kong to get a level playing field approach to the whole Moody situation.

Racing will be the poorer without him in the training ranks. But there is plenty of young blood in Victoria ready to step up to the plate.’

EDITOR’S NOTE: TO let you decide whether there is balance in the reporting of the issue raised above, here are two stories on the Moody scenario – one by MATT STEWART from the HERALD SUN and the other by the Hong Kong-based RACING BITCH:  


AT the time, Peter Moody seemed to regard his six-month suspension as a penalty he could work with.

He thought ahead on Thursday to his second coming. He said he was a one-trick pony who had worked with horses since he was 10. It’s all he knew and he still loved it. There were things to prove and knockers to be silenced.

But something happened between Friday — when Moody and wife Sarah pondered his plight deep into the night — and Saturday, when horses Moody took to the race did not return to his Caulfield stables.

At 46, Moody has quit. It’s done.

The horses are gone or going. Almost 70 staff will need new jobs. There is a long queue of applicants for his 95 prime real estate boxes. Black Caviar used to live in one.

In coming to this sad and shocking decision, Moody would have considered the ramifications for staff and owners but also his family.

His wife is his biggest owner, but she is foremost his partner and the mother of three girls.

Moody probably reckons they have copped the raw end of his all-consuming career.

The task of creating a caretaker infrastructure for a gargantuan Caulfield stable of hundreds of horses and thousands of owners seemed onerous before Moody met chief steward Terry Bailey on Friday — and near impossible afterwards.

It is believed Moody discovered that the relative ease of previous caretaker situations — John Sadler for Leon Corstens, for example — didn’t apply to him and his nominated fill-in David Brideoake.

Roadblocks popped up

There would have been a huge financial cost in the Brideoake proposal, including paying staff entitlements.

Bailey has not yet ruled out appealing against the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board’s penalty of six months’ suspension, with a further six months suspended.

It’s no secret Moody and Bailey have been at war, even before Moody was advised in January last year that Lidari had returned illegal cobalt levels.

Moody’s continual insistence he was being victimised, before and after Lidari tested positive to cobalt, would have irked Bailey, who would have backed in his “intel”.

Bailey had been desperate to gain access to Moody’s stables — at a time that suited him, not Moody — and demanded his stable keys.

Moody eventually handed them over but only after giving Bailey a public bollocking.

Bailey considered planting a spy in Moody’s yard, then thought better of it.

His actions suggest either that the integrity “issue’’ regarding our leading trainer was so serious it required lateral thinking, for the greater good, or that Bailey was obsessed.

Bailey did not accept Moody’s cobalt penalty with a mere shrug. He was irate.

Maybe he thinks Moody dodged a bullet.

But, on balance, the board decided there was insufficient evidence of what led to Lidari’s positive test; a “vacuum’’, RADB chairman Judge John Bowman said.

Given the image and financial cost to an industry that has been dragged through the mud by this saga, Bailey and Co. should be motivated by cost versus benefit as they consider whether to appeal against the sanction.

Moody has lost his reputation and horses and has a legal bill Bailey couldn’t peek over, so does Racing Victoria.

If Moody has used cobalt before, he’s never going to use it again, especially not if he is running an outback pub.

The umpire has decided.

Bailey’s prime mission, surely, is to provide an even playing field.

It’s time to move on, for everyone.


AND this one from the RACING BITCH:

FOR anyone following the cobalt case involving Peter Moody with an open mind, and, more importantly, making an assessment or judgment on the outcome based on fact and fact only, then the decision of the Racing Appeals Board should surprise no one.

Clearly, the absence of a ‘smoking gun’ in the evidence and among the witnesses, together with a major recanting of critical evidence by one expert witness, ultimately combined to save the governing body Racing Victoria, its stewards and the Victorian racing industry, the embarrassment of having to front up to the Victorian Appeals Tribunal and suffer the ignominy of a successful appeal by Moody, if he had been found guilty of administration, let alone the massive financial cost to the industry of yet another legal skirmish in racing gone wrong.

Reading the transcript of the Victorian Racing Appeals Board decision, it was obvious that the lack of persuasive cold hard factual evidence of personal administration of cobalt in its pure form, and not through supplementation, and importantly through intent, was critical in Moody being able to dodge a potent missile and career-ending judgment.

Moody also dodged a second missile in receiving what in cold hard terms is a six month suspension for a very serious flaw in his stable procedures, which resembled an ill-disciplined kindergarten schoolyard with no supervision, no rules and where the ‘tots’ were left to abide by rules which they did not know existed. For Moody to belatedly recognize that ‘he buck stops with me’ was little short of one of the most stunning and dumbest admissions that can be recalled in Australian racing. It would be too forgiving to describe Moody as just another outback Queenslander with no worldly understanding of how society, and more pointedly, racing operates in the 21st century.

Yes, Moody comes across as a real life knockabout bloke who would be heaps of fun to get whacked with at a pub over copious quantities of amber fluid and call everyone we can’t stand dumb f***wits. But to take his eye off the ball to such a serious extent ultimately justified the six month suspension handed down to him. It could have been worse if the 12 month suspension had not been suspended by six months. A 12 month or longer suspension with no part of it suspended, could have crippled his business, and to use his own words, made him ‘unemployable’.

Moody’s reported responses to his penalty demonstrated a degree of contrition, but he should have gone further. He is a licensed person and perhaps someone should translate for him the responsibilities of a licensed person. His attitude towards the management and supervision of his stable was akin to letting the inmates run the asylum.

Yes, he paid a severe and high price for it. His name was dragged through the mud for over a year, and while racing tends to forgive and forget in the long term, his wonderful Black Caviar legacy won’t be the only thing he will be remembered for. And that is just so unfair for racing, let alone the impact it has had on himself and his family and business.

Moody now needs to demonstrate his genuine remorse unambiguously, bury the hatchet with his adversaries – the governing body and its Stewards- and cease forever his aggressive, at times, vindictive and humiliating name calling of anyone who doesn’t play by his rules. Peter Moody needs to rehabilitate his own image not just for himself and financially for his training business. He needs to do it for racing – the industry which he loves and which has been so bloody good to him in every shape and form. Watching him in the tweet and interview below, he’s certainly saying all the right things, keeping things positive, eating some humble pie, and huge props for him for that.

Peter Moody has always genuinely professed his deep respect for history, and in particular, the heroism of those who lost their lives in the carnage that was Gallipoli. It is an admirable part of his personality and character. Peter Moody should also be reminded of the late John F. Kennedy’s timeless quote: “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country”. Just exchange the word country for racing and that’s exactly where Peter Moody should land from this day onward. He’s been given some great landing gear.




‘TALK about another racing beat-up in Parliament – take a bow Opposition spokesperson Jann Stuckey.

To suggest that the dispute over jockey riding fees could threaten the Winter Racing Carnival in Queensland was not only alarmist but also a beat-up.

Rather than me rave on about why Ms Stuckey would not make a good Racing Minister in a LNP Government when they have Ray Stevens (who would have more knowledge in his little toe) just sitting there, here is the debate on the jockeys’ fee issue taken from Hansard. You be the judge!

Mrs STUCKEY: My question is to the Minister for Racing. I ask: given that an impending cut of almost 10 per cent to jockey riding fees is set to commence from 1 April 2016 and a further reduction of over six per cent from 1 July 2016, can the minister advise what she is doing to stop a revolt of Queensland jockeys, who recently voted unanimously to not ride should there be any reduction, putting the upcoming Winter Racing Carnival in doubt?

Ms GRACE: I thank the member for her question. If there is one thing that we can be sure about when it comes to the racing industry it is that if we have to get things bamboozled, backwards or misinformation it will come from the member for Currumbin because there is absolutely nothing that she has said —

Mrs STUCKEY: I rise to a point of order. I find the minister’s words offensive. I ask her to withdraw.

Ms GRACE: I withdraw. There are discussions happening at the moment, which are well known to the industry, regarding the Tracking Towards Sustainability document that was tabled in this House on 3 December due to the financial situation that this government inherited in relation to Racing Queensland. There is no secret in that document. It has put it all out there.

The last time I met with the Jockeys Association representative Mr Glen Prentice, which was just last week, they were in discussions with Racing Queensland. I can say to the member opposite that we had a very good discussion. They are looking at ways to save costs, for example, on workers compensation, which is a very large cost for Racing Queensland, and many other areas when it comes to the jockeys. Racing fees have been discussed, but we are landing very clearly and very solidly on that. I have made it clear that I do not want to see people lose racing fees. At the moment they are still in discussions regarding that because they are an important part of a jockey’s take - home pay. If the member opposite, knowing my background, believes for one second that we are talking about the issues that she raised in her question, she is sadly mistaken and sadly misinformed. I believe that we will come to a very good arrangement with the jockeys, just like we did with the trainers when it came to QRIS. Trainers out there have been saying that that is one of the best schemes in Australia —

Mrs Stuckey interjected.

Ms GRACE: Let me repeat that, particularly for the attention of the member for Currumbin. They have said that it is one of the best schemes in Australia.

Mrs Stuckey interjected.

Mr SPEAKER: Member for Currumbin, your interjections are simply disruptive and not relevant to the question you have asked.

Ms GRACE: I also say that there are a number of other issues in that document that are currently being discussed. The racing industry is a fantastic industry in this state. Unfortunately, it has gone through some difficult times due to increases in prize money, which I cannot control as minister, because they spent money they did not have. An opposition member interjected.

Ms GRACE: I reckon the member for Buderim knows that as well. We will put racing in Queensland back on track. Labor is back in control. We are working with the industry, and I will guarantee you that when Eagle Farm comes back on track — it should have been nine months but it blew out to 21 months — it will generate income for the racing industry, and we will see that industry prosper beyond recognition.

Mr SPEAKER: Member for Gaven, you are warned under standing order 253A. Your interjections are disruptive. If you persist you will then be warned under standing order 253A. I now call the member for Keppel.’



EDITOR'S NOTE: SEVERAL emails that we received concerning the appointment of an interim RQ CEO to replace Ian Hall became redundant with the overnight announcement that Legal Counsel and Director of Strategy Sam Adams would fill the role.

Concerns were expressed that the temporary job may have gone to a couple of other individuals who stakeholders believe are struggling to hold down high profile jobs in the Deagon Bunker.

There was also speculation raised in these contributions about who will be the new RQ Chairman with favorites being tipped: Wayne Myers, a former TAB Board member with close ties to former Labor heavyweights, Terry Mackenroth and Bob Gibbs (but letsgohorseracing has been told that he may not be interested in the job because of the cloud hanging over the minority Government) and Bill Andrews (a former lawyer and Board memberl) who, regardless of his ties to certain major clubs, would - in my humble opinion - be a great choice for the job.   



DISCLAIMER: The views expressed in the above e-mails should not be interpreted as those of JOHN LINGARD, the owner-editor of the letsgohorseracing web-site. That is why he has added an ‘EDITOR’S NOTE’. Every endeavor is made to verify the authenticity of contributors. We welcome any reasonable and constructive responses from parties or individuals.