Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott Racing

The Metropolitan 2019


I have won The Metropolitan eight times and this weekend, Stampede (High Chaparral/Nothin’ Leica Cat) and Hush Writer (Rulership/Star Of Sapphire) are looking to add to the tally and give Adrian and me our first Metropolitan winner as a partnership. Run over 2400m under handicap conditions, it is Sydney’s richest Spring staying event and over the years it has been a real foreshadower of horses who go on to either win or place during the Melbourne Spring Carnival.

I have called upon David Meijer, whom I have worked with for many years, to recall the stable’s past winners. Dave is one of our Foremen and he has taken a little trip down memory lane and gives us his thoughts on each of our winners. It was so lovely to bring back these wonderful memories, brought back to life alongside beautiful photos from Ray Thomas, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Te Akau Nick 1992
He is probably the most memorable of them all. Like any ‘first’, it stays in Gai’s mind because it’s such an important milestone in one’s training career. David Ellis from New Zealand had a horse he wanted to send over to be trained by TJ (Gai’s father). However, TJ – being a master of persuasion– persuaded David into giving Gai, a fledgling trainer at the time, Te Akau Nick. Bought for $40,000, he was a winner of The Listed New Zealand Derby Trial before coming to us, and he produced a typical Tulloch Lodge performance. He raced near the speed to run down tearaway leader Sir Winston in the closing stages under a superb ride from Mick Dittman. Te Akau Nick almost won Gai her first Melbourne Cup in 1993, too. He looked the winner for most of the straight but was just caught late on by Vintage Crop, who became the first international horse to win the Cup. It was a great point in the early days of Gai’s career. 

Te Akau Nick

Electronic 1995
She was a beautiful, feminine mare who carried herself with so much class. Another New Zealand bred horse, she went from winning a midweek race first up to winning a Group 1. Ridden by Glen Boss, she ran down her stablemate Stony Bay, who was also a serious Group 1 horse. In the following twelve months, she confirmed herself as a great mare with a host of top-class performances, including another Group 1 win in the Ranvet Stakes.  


Hula Flight 1996
She was purchased at the same time as Electronic and she was owned by Mr Yoshida of Northern Farm fame in Japan. She was a delicate filly but had the heart of a lion. She also progressed from midweek racing to beating Nothin’ Leica Dane and Saintly in the Metropolitan in one preparation. Great memories.

Hula Flight 


In Joyment 1998
She was a beautiful, scopey mare and living proof that you should never give up. Gai, and her father TJ before her, always says, “never give up on a stayer” and she wasn’t wrong. I remember saddling In Joyment up in a class 3 at Kembla Grange over 1600 metres, where she ran fifth. Fast forward to her as a 6-year-old and there she was winning the Metrop beating Doriemus, one of the best stayers in the land at the time. She was owned by the Cloros family, who still have horses in training at Tulloch Lodge. She is a testament to Gai’s skill at progressing stayers through the grades right to the top, something that is often overlooked amongst her many other accomplishments.

In Joyment

Coco Cabanna 2000
She was a gorgeous mare. She was lightly framed but enormously tenacious and could handle whatever we threw at her. Ridden by Chris Munce, she pulled out at the 600 metres and was unable to be caught as she ran her rivals into the ground, a quality many of Gai’s Group 1 winning horses have displayed over the years. She was yet another of our winners who hailed from New Zealand, there must be something in the water over there.

Coco Cabanna


Dress Circle 2001
He was one of my absolute favourites. Yet another New Zealand import, he had his first start in a maiden at Newcastle and beat a few home. He then progressed to be a Group 1 winner, beating his rivals into submission as he so often did under a super ride from Lenny Beasley. He was remarkably tough, winning the Metrop at the end of an eight-race preparation.

Dress Circle

Herculian Prince 2010
He was found by Gai’s husband Rob who liked the look of his form. After securing him from New Zealand, he came over to be one of the fastest front running geldings Gai’s ever trained. He had a remarkable cruising speed and adopted the ‘catch me if you can’ tactics to perfection. It certainly worked as in 2010 they could not get near him as he scored a most dominant victory by 3.5 lengths, and in the process recorded Gai’s landmark 100th Group 1 victory.

Herculian Prince

Glencadam Gold 2012
He was another found by Rob who liked his form from the UK when trained by the late, great Sir Henry Cecil. He was, like all of Gai’s Metrop winners, as tough as teak but yet his form in England had been inconsistent. When he came down under, the warm sunshine and change of scenery worked its magic and he developed and matured into a wonderful stayer. He was co-owned by Jack Bongiorno and Andrew Roberts who also have shares in Hush Writer who contests the Metrop for us tomorrow. Here’s hoping history can repeat itself.

Glencadam Gold 



Dave pictured at the beach with one our 2019 Metropolitan hopefuls, Hush Writer.


Dave with Excess Knowledge and a very smiley Adrian.