Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott Racing

Waterhouse inspections sound the gong on January Sale time

 

Source: TDNAUSNZ
Words: Jessica Owers 

When Gai Waterhouse kicks off her yearling inspections in late spring, sale time has well and truly arrived. We caught up with the ‘First Lady of Racing’ to talk about the annual inspection routine, and what it’s like to have contributed so many important sires to past and current catalogues.

In the final few weeks of each spring leading into summer, Gai Waterhouse is in the air and on the roads around Australia’s breeding farms. It’s the time of year when yearling inspections are in full throttle for Magic Millions and, after months of lockdown, the ‘First Lady of Racing’ was especially vigorous this year.  Waterhouse kicked off her whirlwind tour in late November, visiting Widden and Baramul Stud deep in the Widden Valley. She went to Amarina Farm and Kingstar on the same day, then hummed through a further four days across the Hunter, stopping in on almost every major player in the business.

It was Coolmore and Newgate on day two, then Yarraman Park, Vinery and Kitchwin Hills on day three. On day four, she stopped by Sledmere Stud and Segenhoe, while her final day in New South Wales took in Cressfield Stud, Emirates Park, Kia Ora Stud, Attunga Stud and Middlebrook Valley Lodge.By day six Waterhouse was south of the border, taking in the stock at Three Bridges Farm in Victoria. Then it was back home in time for the races and riding club on Wednesday mornings.

Waterhouse’s inspection tours are an exhausting pilgrimage for the Sydney trainer, but they are critical to her annual routine. For a very long time, she has traversed Australian farms at this time of year in search of Group-level stars at the sales. She will often bring an entourage of people, including her Sales and Bloodstock Manager, Claudia Miller, and her best friend Lea Stracey, who is vital for documenting yearlings. At other times she will have trainees in tow from the Godolphin Flying Start program, as has been the case for the last few years.

“It was wonderful to get around the studs this year,” Waterhouse said. “I’ve done it for a very long time, and I usually head off in October around Victoria, and I try to do them all before I head up north to the Hunter. I do all around Scone before I do all around the outskirts of Sydney, and then, when we can, we go north to Queensland to see all the studs up there. Of course, we haven’t been able to do that this year.”

 

The trainer can’t remember the first time she began this ritual, but she’s hardly missed a year and she still enjoys every moment of it. By the point of her arrival to the Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale, she and co-trainer Adrian Bott have seen 80 per cent of the catalogue with their own eyes. “I see a lot of horse flesh, but I enjoy it, I enjoy seeing the horses in their natural environment, and I enjoy seeing what the studmasters are feeding them or not feeding them. I like to listen to what the boys and girls looking after them have to say about each horse, and it’s nice. You get the personality of the farm that the horse is bred on, and the personal interaction is very enjoyable each year.” Waterhouse said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

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