Contract Racing’s David and Jenny Moodie did Victorian breeders a huge favour when the industry first rolled out VOBIS.
Initially, the Moodies didn’t pay up for the Scheme but that changed when they did the math. “I can remember Jim Marconi topping the bonus list a couple of times before we got involved,” Jenny recalled. “I realised not being eligible was costing us money.”
VOBIS was spared a baptism of fire – Jenny reckons they sent out so many winners in its early days, it would have just about sent the Scheme broke!
Contract Racing began dominating VOBIS nominator and owner awards and remains a strong supporter of the Scheme. In fact, no other Melbourne owner – breeder has been as consistently successful since the 1980s to the present day.
Hurricane Sky (Star Watch) was one of the nation’s top colts at that time winning a Blue Diamond and an All-Aged Stakes in Sydney carrying their lime colours with purple and gold braces.
Blazing Sword (Marscay) won two stakes races at Flemington and retired to stand at the family’s Craigielea Stud. He sired their mare Arctic Scent to a Group 1 triumph in the 1996 Caulfield Cup.
The Moodies reached the pinnacle for any owner when homebred filly Crystal Lily won the 2011 Golden Slipper Stakes. She was a from ‘Crystal’ family that has been delivering stakes winners for generations.
Fresh from being named 2013-14 Victorian Breeders of the Year, David and Jenny are once again returning the favour overtime. David is a Director of Racing Victoria Ltd, Director of the Tricode Board of Vic Racing Pty Ltd and sits on the Australian Pattern Committee. He has previously held executive positions with TBV, TROA and the Victorian black-type committee.
Jenny has just joined the TBV committee and she is president of the Victorian Wakeful Club which hosts the Lady of Racing every year as well as providing sponsorship and scholarships to the industry.
The Moodies also support local stallions whenever possible. “We have about 60 mares and they’re split 50-50 between Victoria and NSW. We don’t like sending them up to the Hunter Valley but, commercially, there’s no alternative.”
Their first stallions stood at Craigielea Stud at Kilmore before a transfer to Shirley Park in Woodend led to a permanent move to Yungaburra Stud at Newham not far from Mt Macedon.
Amyntor (Sir Gaylord) was based with Blazing Sword at Kilmore. He was bred in France and was originally exported to New Zealand when the sireline took off with Sir Tristram.
He transferred to Victoria after getting Group 1 gallopers Mannerism (Caulfield Cup) and King Pheonix (Toorak Hcp).
Later on, British-bred Raami (Be My Guest) sired the Contract Racing Group 1 winners Black Bean (The Galaxy), Paint (Blue Diamond) and Ramyah (South Australian Oaks).
Other Contract-backed stallions to meet with various degrees of success were Distorted Humor (Forty Niner), Made Of Gold (Green Forest) and Esperero (Forty Niner).
“We also reared Redoute’s Choice,” Jenny recalled. “Iris O’Farrell had just started working for Mr Yaseen and she asked David to recommend a stallion for their maiden mare Shantha’s Choice.
“She was a younger half-sister to Hurricane Sky and, at that stage, Danehill had sired the last two Golden Slipper winners. David told Iris that Danehill was red-hot and Redoute’s Choice was the result.
“I can still see him as a yearling in a muddy paddock at Shirley Park. We were forced out of there when the freeway went through to Kyneton.”
Fast-forward to 2014 and the Moodies live in Carlton North with their three daughters – Kate, Victoria and Jessica – who are all keen racegoers.
The girls stood in at the presentation for Hard Stride after the LR Regal Roller Stakes in August while their parents attended the Arqana yearling sale.
The rest of the spring carnival is looking good with stable star Solicit and promising filly River Delta.
Solicit will appreciate the return to Flemington having already won the G2 Kewney and G3 Vanity there earlier this year. The Moodies race her with Nick and Gayle Psaltis who were also in the Crystal Lily partnership.
River Delta claimed the LR Black Pearl Classic at Geelong on Wednesday. She is from a Contract Racing family going back to G1 Oakleigh Plate winner River Dove.
Jenny is also looking forward to getting down to business with TBV. “We need more sire-power to combat the Hunter Valley. I want to help make a difference and we are targeting a European 2YO stallion to stand in Victoria next year.”
– Karl Patterson