By Jon Lees
Australia: Black Caviar trainer Peter Moody has claimed that British import Zaaki’s outstanding victory in the G1 Doomben Cup may be put down to Australian trainers being the best in the world.
He even went as far to suggest that Zaaki’s trainer, the British expat Annabel Neasham, may be a better trainer than Sir Michael Stoute, who trained the six-year-old to two G3 wins.
Zaaki graduated to elite level in Australia when he slammed a top-class field to land his first top-level victory in Brisbane last weekend for first-season trainer Neasham, beating Toffee Tongue by seven lengths in a race which also featured Melody Belle, Humidor, Sir Dragonet and Mugatoo. He is now ante-post favourite for the Cox Plate.
Speaking on the weekly Ladbrokes Australia podcast Moody On The Mic, the trainer claimed the performance was another example that Australia has the best racehorse trainers in the world.
“We see it year in, year out when these horses come out from Europe and people downplay the quality of our racing stock,” he said.
“I think what should be celebrated more is the quality of our Australian trainers. This horse was trained by Sir Michael Stoute, one of the great trainers of world racing. But he might have been taken over by one of the great-er trainers and an up-and-coming trainer in Annabel Neasham.
“I said it years ago when I had a bit of luck with a horse called Manighar and I was nearly hung and quartered in Europe for the fact that I suggested that maybe we improve these horses on these great European trainers.
“I think our training methods are much more advanced, we are much more open-minded, we have a lot more scope in the way we go about training these horses and not pigeon-holed like they are in Europe.
“When they come out of here to this environment I think a lot of them find lengths because they are much better trained.”
Zaaki changed hands for 150,000gns at last year’s Tattersalls Autumn horses-in-training sale last year to join first-season trainer Neasham in Sydney. He became the second G1 winner of Neasham’s impressive start to training, having worked previously for Ciaron Maher and David Eustace.
Moody continued: “Is Annabel Neasham a better trainer than Sir Michael Stoute? Massive call but she’s got this horse absolutely flying. So don’t downplay the opposition. I would suggest to you that maybe this horse has improved in his current environment and maybe he’s been trained better.
“Maybe he beat up on old pensioners, maybe, I don’t know. But don’t forget Australian trainers, I believe, are the best in the world and they significantly improve these European horses.
“We’ve seen it for a lot of years. It started with the great Colin Hayes, T J Smith, Bart Cummings many years before. These horses go to a new level, new environment, trained differently and trained more open-mindedly than they are anywhere else in the world.”