Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott Racing

Queen of Dubai and Sealion’s road trip to Melbourne ahead of Cup Carnival

 

Queen Of Dubai (left)

 

Words by Rachel Gray

Queen of Dubai looked confident as she elegantly strutted off the horse float following a 1.5 hour drive south from Sydney to Kembla Grange Racecourse prior to taking out her maiden in courageous style. 

It’s a far shorter road trip than the one she has just done from Sydney to Melbourne with stablemate Sealion.  But if her runs in Victoria are anything like her win in the NSW town near Wollongong — edging her nose a fraction ahead of the competition in the Ron Quinton 2YO Maiden Plate (1000m)  — then she’s sure to make a splash in the upcoming 2021 Spring Racing Carnival

 

Fresh from her win, jockey Tim Clark jumped off Queen of Dubai at the end of the race and said the filly “had to really dig deep in the last 50 metres”. 

“She toughed it out well,” he said. “There were horses on the inside and outside of her. And the horse inside from her kept running into her line a little bit. So, I was very proud of her for sticking her head out as she passed the wire in the bunched-up field of 10.”  

The filly ran first to the race’s namesake’s horse — Ron Quinton’s filly Vesuvio — who placed in second, with Anthony Cummings’ Air Command in third. 

Queen Of Dubai 

 

Gai Waterhouse and co-trainer Adrian Bott made the decision to truck Queen of Dubai and two-year-old gelding Sealion to Melbourne where the racing program is more suited to the “grand final” they have planned for the pair.   

For Queen of Dubai, that grand final could be the Kennedy Oaks Day (2500m) on November 4, a race the stable won with Pinot in 2017.  And as for Sealion, it could be the Caulfield Guineas (1600m) on October 9.  And by the time both turn three on August 1, they’ll be a right fit for the races. 

Queen of Dubai really “strengthened-up this preparation” Adrian said, putting in a good first performance at Kembla Grange but still “short of her best” running in the 1000m.  

He added that they are preparing her for the longer distance races in Melbourne, where an ideally suited racing program for three-year-old fillies is coming up. 

 

“It will take her through her grades nicely and allow her to continue to take that confidence and continue to develop,” Adrian said.  

 

Sealion's win in Wyong on July 20 in the Tab.com.au 2YO Maiden Handicap (1000m) impressed Adrian who said, "The gelding did everything on natural ability. He is only going to improve once he can potentially stretch out to the mile (1600m).”

 

Sealion placed second at Gosford in the Open Trial for 2YO colts and geldings in July, and first in his maiden Open Trial for 2YO colts and geldings at Randwick on February 5. Adrian added that Sealion is just not quite ready for the all-important Black Type and Group races “which come on pretty quickly” in the fast-approaching Sydney Spring Carnival.  So, they sent the two-year-old gelding to Melbourne where the son of Astern will be put through his grades in a racing program that allows him to steadily improve. 

Sealion (Photo by Ashlea Brennan)

 

THE SYDNEY OR MELBOURNE TRACK?

Gai and Adrian work on the horses while they’re yearlings to see if their preference is for Sydney’s clockwise direction or Melbourne’s anticlockwise racetrack. 

“Most of them are very adaptable,” Adrian said. “But we give them exposure to Melbourne as young horses so when they have to travel from Sydney with a big race target in mind, then it’s a seamless transition to fall straight into that routine.”

The boutique Waterhouse-Bott stable at Flemington has a capacity for up to 19 horses, and houses an average of about 15 all year-round, with staff and systems in place to keep the joint ticking along nicely. Pre-Covid, Gai and Adrian would make regular trips to Melbourne so they could personally see the horses and how they were adapting to the training, then adjust their programs accordingly.

But since the pandemic, the two co-trainers have had to change their own monitoring schedule, relying on technology such as video, phone calls and messages with regular riders, stable staff and top-class jockeys. 

“Now it might mean changing the timing of when the horses are sent down so we can keep an eye on them for longer,” Adrian said.

There are heart-rate monitors and other sport science technology and equipment to view over Zoom calls, which helps them observe and see where improvements can be made in the horses’ abilities. 

“We’re putting pieces of the puzzle together,” he said. “And the staff also know what’s required and how to make it work.”

Adrian said the advantage of having a stable in Melbourne means they’re able to target those carnivals and bigger races without the trip to and from Sydney being too taxing on the horses.

“It's good to get them down there, settled and into a routine and have them happy to jump off the big wins.”

The Melbourne Cup Carnival kicks off on October 30 and goes until November 6, with “the race” set to stop the nation on the first Tuesday of November. In Sydney, the Sydney Spring Racing Carnival runs from August to October. See here for a detailed list of all the important upcoming exciting races. 

 
 

Previous


Gai & Adrian TV 17th September 2021

Gai & Adrian TV 17th September 2021

With fourteen runners across the next three days, this is not an episode you want to miss.  


Gai & Adrian TV 9th September 2021

Gai & Adrian TV 9th September 2021

It's an incredibly exciting day at Kembla on Saturday, with CONVERGE returning in the Group 2 Run To The Rose. 


Gai & Adrian TV 2nd September 2021 - Birthday Special

Gai & Adrian TV 2nd September 2021 - Birthday Special

With no fewer than 18 possible runners over the next three days, it's a huge weekend for Tulloch Lodge.  


In The Congo too slick for high-profile rivals

In The Congo too slick for high-profile rivals

In The Congo used his natural speed to full advantage and upset some high profile three-year-old rivals at Kembla Grange on Saturday. 


Gai & Adrian TV 26th August 2021

Gai & Adrian TV 26th August 2021

Join Adrian as he spins through our weekend runners, including IN THE CONGO, SOCIAL ELEMENT and more.  


Track Work Reports - Archive

Previous


Tulloch Lodge pair will make Elleegant earn win

Tulloch Lodge pair will make Elleegant earn win

“She is a quality mare,’’ Waterhouse said of Shout The Bar. “When she gets to a mile and further she comes into her own." 


Waterhouse-Bott have bases covered in Run To The Rose

Waterhouse-Bott have bases covered in Run To The Rose

“I don’t think his win in the San Domenico was any fluke." 


Gai, Queen Of The Jumps

Gai, Queen Of The Jumps

When Gai Waterhouse arrived by train to the Warrnambool May carnival in 2013, she was a celebrity outsider, a marketing coup.  


Converge continues to be full of surprises

Converge continues to be full of surprises

Converge stamped himself as a horse to follow when producing a stunning turn of foot to win a 1000m Randwick course proper barrier trial on Friday. 


Tulloch Lodge to rely on only one for Up And Coming

Tulloch Lodge to rely on only one for Up And Coming

"Concocted is a nice style of horse, he’s a compact, masculine type and is more a sprinter." 


Track Work Reports - Archive