09 Aug 19

The Daily Telegraph’s Ray Thomas interviewed Gai Waterhouse on Friday and his article is listed below:

GAI WATERHOUSE in control at Randwick

Retirement is not on the radar for champion trainer Gai Waterhouse, who has returned from a spell in Europe full of energy and raring to go as the big spring races loom.

The frigid early mornings at trackwork this week might show winter hasn’t lost its bite but there is something other than a chill in the air.

It’s early August, the new season has only just begun and Gai Waterhouse is thinking of spring.

Racing’s first lady is optimistic and hopeful.

She has identified her potential spring carnival contenders and is planning their preparations.

Her alarm goes off at 2.30am most days and she’s usually first on track at Randwick with her horses galloping from 4am. Once trackwork is over, about 8am, she makes her way back to Tulloch Lodge where the rest of her day is only just beginning.

Waterhouse might sneak in a power nap here and there when being driven to appointments and race meetings but she is contactable all day, every day and often her work keeps her going into the evening.

She is independently wealthy and doesn’t train racehorses for the money.

Given her extraordinarily successful training career, I wondered if retirement had ever crossed her mind.

So, the question was posed and in true Waterhouse style, I was immediately put back in my place.

“Ray, it’s like me asking, ‘Are you thinking of retiring yet?’ If you love what you do, why retire?’’ Waterhouse said.

“Retirement is boring. Everyone I know who retires ages much quicker and dies in no time at all.

“Routine is good. I see it with animals, with my horses, they like routine, and it’s the same for people. You need routine, a focus, to keep the mind and body active, it is essential to everything we do in life.’’

This writer, suitably chastened, decided to ask the trainer’s husband, leading bookmaker Rob Waterhouse, for his take on the subject.

Waterhouse laughed when informed of my conversation with his wife and how she left me with the distinct impression she regards retirement as a dirty word.

“Gai’s right, there is more chance of you retiring than her,’’ he said.

“Training racehorses is a way of life and her father (Tommy Smith) always had a horse in his own name in work, even when people thought he had retired.

“TJ was at the track every morning with his daughter and he didn’t ever regard himself as being retired. He was on the phone to Gai and her owners every day, he had his finger on the pulse all the time.

“Gai’s like her father and I can’t see why she won’t die with her boots on.’’

They say trainers never retire anyway, particularly with a promising horse in the stable.

To that end, Waterhouse has every reason to look towards the spring carnival with confidence and expectation.

The Hall of Fame trainer then reeled off some of her equine stable talent starting with Dawn Passage and Escaped, who are clashing in the Listed $140,000 The Rosebud (1100m) at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.

ESCAPED winning his most recent start

Then there is Hush Writer and Wolfe, Bellevue Hill, Got Your Six, Mister Songman and others like Ready To Prophet — including her untested two-year-old team.

READY TO PROPHET winning the "Gai Waterhouse Classic" LR

This is what truly excites Waterhouse. The untapped potential of these horses that she can nurture and develop into possible Group 1 contenders.

“I’ve got some lovely three-year-olds for the spring,’’ she said.

“Dawn Passage has so much ability. He is a very handy horse. He’s not Pierro but he’s big and strong, and full of promise. Escaped has different talents but he is a colt that keeps improving.’’

Waterhouse is particularly enthusiastic about the spring chances of Bellevue Hill, winner of the Group 3 Baillieu Handicap and runner-up to Yes Yes Yes in the Group 2 Todman Stakes last season.

“Bellevue Hill is a natural and he won his trial nicely at Gosford on Monday,’’ she said. “He will start later this month in the San Domenico Stakes and like Dawn Passage, he’s being aimed at the Golden Rose.’’

Waterhouse was also impressed by the wins of Wolfe, Mister Songman and unheralded duo Got Your Six and Pierro Rose at the Gosford trials session earlier this week.

“Wolfe is a lovely horse, a terribly unassuming character, nothing fazes him and he does exactly what he has to. He’s almost press-button,’’ the trainer said.

“He will run next week in the Premier’s Cup Prelude, he’s coming up a treat. He’s a top horse and I’ll set him for The Metropolitan.

“Mister Songman is heading toward the Epsom. He has had some time off but he is doing well. Got Your Six is very, very talented. The horses that beat her last preparation are all stakes horses (Trope, Classique Legend and Fasika). Pierro Rose is a lovely filly that I have a lot of time for.’’

The stable also has Japanese import Hush Writer beginning his Melbourne Cup campaign in the VRC Members Handicap (2500m) at Flemington on Saturday.

Waterhouse trains in partnership these days with Adrian Bott.

This is their fourth season together and already they have trained nearly 450 winners — including five at Group 1 level plus another 64 stakes successes.

Their horses have earned a few dollars short of $30 million in this period.

Waterhouse, who has just returned from a European holiday, said the training partnership is “going great”.

“When you have two very different people, it takes that time for a partnership to understand and adjust to each other but we work very well together,’’ she said.

“Adrian is intelligent. He understands racing, he works very hard and, when I was away for six weeks, he had the winners rolling in.

“He’s currently having a couple of weeks away but I will be very glad when he comes home.

“Training is very hard work, very demanding with long hours, and it can be mentally and physically draining. I don’t have Dad anymore so it is nice to have a training partner to bounce things off.’’

But Waterhouse said she feels re-energised after her break.

“What is that old saying, ‘you have to stop to smell the roses’,’ she said. “You do all this hard work; it is nice to have a bit of a break then you look forward to returning and working hard. I feel so determined, so keen, I can’t wait for spring.’’

Ray Thomas 9/8/19


It’s a Statistical Fact:  the WATERHOUSE & BOTT Stables led the way as the MOST SUCCESSFUL stable based at Royal Randwick.

Dynamic Syndications are the PRIMARY SYNDICATOR to the GAI WATERHOUSE & ADRIAN BOTT Stables and that’s for a specific reason:

Facts and Figures PROVE they rule supreme at Headquarters!

WATERHOUSE & BOTT produced 54 City Winners in Sydney in 2018/19, 10 wins clear of their nearest Randwick peer being the Snowden Stable with 44 wins. Other leading Randwick stables included: Les Bridge with 16 wins, Anthony Cummings and John Thompson both had 15 wins each whilst John O’Shea managed 10 wins.

Note: It’s important to identify in these figures that Anthony Cummings also had another 7 city wins during his training partnership with son Edward in the early part of last season. If we were to add those into his tally, he would have had 22 wins credited to him and that would have placed Anthony in outright third spot at Randwick.


As the saying goes: “LIES, DAMN LIES and STATISTICS.”

Waller was the leading stable by City Winners in NSW in 2018/19 and received the headlines.

His dominance is based upon the statistical fact that the stable is clearly the biggest in NSW with 408 Horses on its books which is 88 more horses than its nearest peer J Cummings / Godolphin who has 320 horses.

Stat: Waller trained 172 Winners at a Strike Rate of 12.67% (Winners : Runners).

Waller started 1,358 Runners – that was 805 more runners than his nearest peer James Cummings (Godolphin) who produced the second highest number with 553 Starters for 99 Wins at a Strike Rate of 17.90%.

Stat: Waller trains 1 city winner in every 7.89 Runners, whilst James Cummings trains a 1 city winner in every 5.58 Runners.

The Snowden stable were the 3rd highest by runners, starting 413 horses for just 44 city wins at strike rate of only 10.65%. Snowden has 223 horses on the books. The Snowden stable trains 1 city winner in every 9.39 Runners.

Waterhouse & Bott have 245 horses on the books. They started 330 Runners for 54 city wins at a Strike Rate of 16.36% which equates to a city winner every 6.11 Runners.

Figures for Randwick Trainers show Snowden had 25.15% more starters (83) than their main Randwick peers Waterhouse & Bott however it was Waterhouse and Bott who produced 10 more city winners = 22.72%.


Statistics prove Gai and Adrian are the best stable at Randwick for owners to achieve results.

So at the Top of her game, it’s no wonder the word “Retirement” doesn’t exist in Gai Waterhouse’s vocabulary.

We invite you to: "Race The Best – With The Best!"

Gai Waterhouse, Dean & Fiona Watt - Dynamic Syndications, Adrian Bott

“Live the Dream – Join our Dynamic / Gai Waterhouse Team !”

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