Southern hemisphere trainers fit the bill

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 25 March, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 25 March, 2009, 12:00am

One of the big training performances Down Under in recent weeks was turned in by Melbourne-based Peter Moody, who has taken a smart filly called Typhoon Tracy from a maiden to Group One winner in the space of five runs.

Typhoon Tracy, ridden by former Hong Kong club jockey Glen Boss, led throughout to win the Coolmore Classic in Sydney on Saturday, just a couple of weeks after another Moody inmate Reward For Effort captured the Group One Blue Diamond Stakes.

Moody was among the international visitors in Hong Kong last December for the international meeting and this column understands he received a pretty good audience from the Jockey Club. Moody has previously expressed an interest in training here, should a vacancy occur.

Well, there is a vacancy at this very minute, because there are only 24 trainers in town - the club believes the right number is 25 - and no-one has yet been named to replace David Oughton, who retired in late November 2006.

We're told the club is waiting to recruit another European trainer in the name of 'balance' in the training ranks but cannot attract the calibre of horseman it wants.

There seems no doubt that, rather like the horses, southern hemisphere trainers 'acclimatise' quicker than their European counterparts, perhaps because they are more used to training on racecourses.

Surely we have to question this apparent preference for north over south, especially when - in the Hong Kong environment - the southern hemisphere trainers are the ones with the runs on the board and such a high-class southerner as Moody is actually keen to get here.

And do we really want second-best from anywhere simply on the grounds of geographical ideology?