Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott Racing

The Impact Magazine: Upcoming Magic Millions Sale

 

It's always good fun catching up with the team at The Impact. In the following article we discuss my plans and processes for the upcoming

Magic Millions sale, my plans for the rest of the year, my favourite horse and much more:

 

Gai Waterhouse: Big Purchase Plans At Magic Millions’ Gold Coast Yearling Sale

09 December 2020

Considered Thoroughbred Industry royalty not just in Australia but around the world, Gai Waterhouse's presence at any sale inspires awe and her purchases curiosity. Having purchased 29 horses at the MM Gold Cost Yearling Sale (2020), she was one of the top buyers at the sale both interms of the number of horses as well as the total value of the purchase.

The Impact speaks with Waterhouse about her plans and processes for the sale, her plans for the rest of the year, her favourite horse and much more:

 

Q: Please tell us more about your top-performing purchases from this sale? What makes this sale special?


A: I have trained seven Group 1 Golden Slipper winners, the richest two-year-old race in the world. One was homebred and the rest were purchased from Magic Millions which makes this sale very special.

I am currently inspecting the 2021 Magic Millions yearlings. What comes over so clearly is that they are handled by the farms at a very early age. Consequently, they are a lot more forward in condition. The other yearlings are left in a paddock and will prepare for sales which take place later in the year.

 

Q: What is your process from the time the catalogue is released to the day(s) of the sale?

A: My process begins with yearling inspections on the farms. I try to get around to as many as possible across the different states and although this year has been more testing with the pandemic closing the borders, we will still aim to inspect the majority of the catalogue before arriving at the Gold Coast. My co-trainer, Adrian Bott, as well as our veterinarian, is doing the same.

Often we are inspecting the horses without the catalogue. I look at the horse first and the pedigree second. Doing it this way is probably quite unique but it enables me to give a more honest appraisal of the horse itself, without being influenced by the pedigree. The horse tells you what you like and the page tells you what you’ll have to pay.

When we get to the Gold Coast we begin with horses we haven’t seen, followed by second looks. Once this has been completed, ideally three days before the sale begins, the whole team meets. We go through every single page of the catalogue discussing our thoughts on each yearling and this enables us to go back and recheck any discrepancies. It also enables us to put values on the horses that we are interested in, this is when the pedigrees really come into play. Then the vetting can begin. If they pass the vet Adrian and I will be in the ring poised and ready to hopefully secure our next Golden Slipper winner.

 

Q: How many horses do you expect to buy at the 2021 edition of the MM GC Yearling Sale and generally across the yearling sales season?


A: We usually purchase approximately 30 yearlings ourselves at Magic Millions, and we work with several agents to secure additional lots for their clients. Up to 20 further yearlings may be bought throughout the remainder of the year.


Q: Which sales are you planning to attend over the next few months after the MM GC Yearling Sale?


A: I will attend Inglis’ Classic, Premier & Easter Sales. We will use an agent to secure our New Zealand purchases.

 

Q: Which sires do you expect to see do well in the 2021 edition of the MM GC Yearling Sale/ the 2021 yearling sales in-general across different levels of pricing?


A: Pierro is a colt I trained to win the Golden Slipper and I very much like his progeny. They’re often a later maturing style of horse and they get over middle and staying distance. Snitzel keeps performing and can produce the most precocious sprinter, as well as a middle-distance horse. His versatility makes him a very influential stallion and I have had great success with his sons and daughters. I Am Invincible is a remarkably consistent sire of good horses and although they can be expensive, I think they’re worth every dollar. Savabeel is doing extremely well. We have a very precocious two-year-old filly by him called Summerbeel who is going to improve with time and distance. She’s definitely one to look out for in the future.



Q: Given the resilience showing by the industry in this very difficult year, could you tell us what trends you are expecting in ownership groups during 2021 and how that has shaped your buying plans for 2021 as well?


A: Across the board, in Australia in 2020 people have been spending money on horses. We have been blessed that racing has continued during the pandemic. It was the only sport taking place at one point so there was no competition and people have had little to spend their money on. The holiday they would have taken has not happened. People want to enjoy some kind of lifestyle and owning racehorses has given them that. The yearlings we purchased at the sales earlier this year have been keenly sought after.


Q: Who is your favourite racehorse (self-owned or any other, past or present) and why?


A: There have been a few. Pierro rates very highly. He was a remarkably tough horse with a special element that only champions have. He knew how to raise the bar when the chips were down and have a wonderful constitution. Like Pierro, Dance Hero was tough, determined and a true racehorse down to his tippy toes. My mother had a share in this gelding. All Our Mob was beautifully natured, and Grand Armee and Juggler were wonderful geldings who came from other stables and raced on as older horses. Recently I got great joy from training Con Te Partiro. She was successful for Wesley Ward in the U.S. and U.K. before coming to us. Having the opportunity to train a quality mare for Newgate Farm and S.F. Bloodstock, and take her to another level, giving Adrian and me huge satisfaction. Farnan was purchased and given to us to train by Aquis Farm and Phoenix Thoroughbreds. He won the 2020 Group 1 Golden Slipper and became Champion 2YO. He is unassuming and cruises under the radar, just getting the job done. I love this type of horse. A great attitude and willing nature are what separates a champion from his peers. Pinot (Pierro x Dizelle) was purchased by Aron Wellman from Eclipse Thoroughbreds and selected by Bloodstock Agent Marette Farrell, for us at Inglis’ Easter Sale. She has a beautiful pedigree. She travelled down to our Melbourne stable as a two-year-old maiden but I had a vision, and with her ability and my determination, she broke her maiden in the VRC Oaks Trial over 1800m on 27th September, she won her first Stakes race three weeks later and the Gr.1 VRC Oaks on 9th November. All in 6 weeks.


Q: What would you say has been your most successful personal and professional achievement this year?


A: Spending more time with my grandchildren. With COVID I was lucky enough to spend time with my five grandchildren, but also take the time to refresh and appreciate how much I enjoy training racehorses. I train in partnership with Adrian Bott and I love his youth and vitality. He has a sensible and intelligent view on matters concerning training and programming. He has been a huge asset to my continued involvement in racing.

 

 
 

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