Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott Racing

My Time With Team Waterhouse

We have had the pleasure of having Issy Paul from the Godolphin Flying Start spending the last three weeks with us as part of her program. Issy has been a delight to have working alongisde the team and she's written a little blog of her time with us. We wish Issy the best of luck with the remainder of the course and her future career in the industry. 

Three Weeks with Team Waterhouse – Issy Paul

For my Godolphin Flying Start externship in Australia I have been lucky enough to spend three weeks with Gai, Adrian, and all of Team Waterhouse, and what an Externship it has been. In the true style of Australian hospitality, the team have been incredibly welcoming and it’s not only been a great learning experience but also a lot of fun. From the clock tower in the mornings, to the office, to the Christmas Party, to inspecting yearlings with Gai I’ve been kept incredibly busy but loved every minute.

I began my three weeks in Sydney where the 3am alarms were a bit of a shock to the system particularly having come from a background of racing in Newmarket (where 5am was a seriously early morning). Getting to grips with trying to find horses in the dark was the second big challenge and I was at a loss to explain how Adrian always knew where everyone was (turns out if you concentrate pretty hard you get used to it). It’s been great to see how different training in Australia is and I love the use of sectional timings. Another aspect of Australian training that I think would be hugely beneficial in the UK would be more widespread use of trialling. Not only is it great for the babies, but it gives a much better indicator of fitness and readiness than galloping alone.

In the afternoons the office team have been putting up with me and giving me a few small tasks to complete as well as talking me through their roles and job descriptions. I’ve not spent much time in an office, having usually been out on the yards, but anyone who spends five minutes at Tulloch Lodge can see that it is a really productive operation. At first I was a little apprehensive about office work but it’s been really interesting and has given me a chance to get used to horse-management systems like Ardex as well as an insight into the day-to-day running of the business. A particular highlight of this for me has been having access to the vast and incredibly detailed spreadsheets that Racing Manager Emma Reeves utilises to keep track of everything.

During my second week a team of us, headed up by Magic Millions’ Dane Robinson, travelled out to the Hunter Valley to embark on what Gai has dubbed ‘The Magical Mystery Tour’ – visiting various studs to inspect their yearlings for the upcoming Gold Coast Sale. This part of my externship was a real highlight. It was fantastic to get an unprecedented insight into what Gai looks for in horses and also to simply see so many different farms and horses. Harry and Georgie Mitchell were also kind enough to host us for dinner one night and we had another great evening at Newgate.

The final week of my time in Sydney has been spent predominantly in the tower and office with a couple of excursions. We did another day of yearling inspections, this time in the Southern Highlands, seeing more great yearlings and I also had the privilege of riding on the beach. This was another huge highlight for me, if only the English climate were a little more temperate…

I can’t thank the whole team enough for giving me the best three weeks and I shouldn’t forget to mention the numerous winners we’ve also enjoyed during my time, topped off by the 2019 Bong Bong Cup Winner. What could get better than that? It has been too short but also an invaluable and thoroughly enjoyable externship.