Moody and Co should learn lesson from Shaw
This year Peter Moody is Australia's hottest trainer after six Group Ones and winning a first Victorian premiership with a strike rate of 22 per cent.
However, his reconnaissance trip to Sunday's Internationals was of questionable worth if he is considering bringing unbeaten mare Black Caviar for the Hong Kong Sprint next year. This was the year she had unstoppable momentum.
Saying that Black Caviar would have won, based on Ortensia's finishing position, is as useful as wishing you had Marty McFly's racebook and back-to-the-future rocket car.
Like many Australian trainers, Moody may arrive a year too late.
His reasoning behind not bringing Black Caviar is sound enough - the mare has needed cotton glove handling to get her to race regularly at home, let alone Sha Tin.
Injury concerns aside, however, Black Caviar would not have come for the 2010 race because Australian trainers have traditionally hesitated to target their 'A team' and are scared to miss an easy kill at home.
We hear that races like the William Reid, T J Smith, BTC Cup and Doomben 10,000 are being toyed with for Black Caviar's next preparation, hardly the events she should be tackling if she is to be rated among the world's elite. If she wins them all, the first prize of those four Group Ones totals A$1.3 million and, even with the strong Aussie dollar, a win in this year's Hong Kong Sprint converts to over A$1 million.
We applaud Rocket Man's trainer Patrick Shaw for finally bringing the Singaporean sling and creating a return bout with KrisFlyer victors Sacred Kingdom and Green Birdie, and the horse vindicated his gamble in going within a nose of winning both the Jockey Club Sprint and the main event. Shaw (pictured) could have kept Rocket Man at home and continued belting second-rate competition but he rolled the dice, planned his assault, and was a nose off fulfilment.
The perception of the Hong Kong Sprint must change if we are to have more visiting winners like J J The Jet Plane and Falvelon - and that should start Down Under where trainers are aiming some of the world's best sprinters at races worth little more than our Class Ones. Australian-breds may have dominated the Sprint, but Australian-trained runners have not, and but for dual winner Falvelon in 2000 and 2001, their record would be 16 starts for two placings.
That begins in the planning of the prep, as too often we have seen Aussie sprinters in Hong Kong as an afterthought, rather than a planned assault.
Trainers learn from their mistakes, but should also learn from the mistakes of others.