passionate, exuberant and radiant Gai Waterhouse. |
Picture: Courtesy of The Australian.
Gai Waterhouse is once again primed to dominate the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival when she serves up three of her best at this weekend’s $3.5 Million Group One Tooheys New Golden Slipper.
Waterhouse will roll out her array of juvenile stars in Vancouver, English and Speak Fondly, after timely revealing her hand a fortnight ago on Randwick Guineas Day.
Unbeaten colt, Vancouver, who Waterhouse purchased for $185,000 at the 2014 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale, has turned out to be a sublime addition to her stable racking up three wins from as many starts.
Waterhouse considers Vancouver to be showing similar traits of her champion colt Pierro, and pointed to the young star’s record as an indication.
“He showed brilliant turn of foot and speed when he smashed the 30-year-old track record at Randwick, so that in itself is a feat.”
Despite receiving the second outside gate of barrier 18 for the race, Vancouver (2.80) will start favourite in arguably the biggest race in Australia outside the Melbourne Cup. English ($17) has fallen down in the betting but Speak Fondly ($21) is now rated as an each way chance after saluting in the Magic Night Stakes at Rosehill Gardens last Saturday.
The Waterhouse stable will launch a three-pronged attack at the Slipper and Gai gives her filly, English, every chance of matching Vancouver on Saturday.
“I think she’s top draw; I think she’s exceptionally professional, a very underrated filly that just gets on with job. She’ll be right there in the firing line when they hit the winning post, she’ll be right there.”
Should Waterhouse win the race, she will have amassed an amazing six Golden Slippers to her name. A feat that would equal the collection her father, TJ Smith, won during his training career. A win would make it three slippers in four years after Pierro won in 2012, and Overreach in 2013.
Her outstanding and at times unrivalled domination of the Autumn Carnival is beginning to become an annual expectation for followers of the sport, but Sydney’s leading-lady puts it down to her commitment and sense of timing.
“It’s very much about having your horses peak at the right time, it’s very much about having your hand on the rudder and being there, seeing the horses, day-in day-out,” she said.Waterhouse has a fondness for the two-year-olds’ that would be unmatched by many other trainers, and she says the secret to the juveniles’ is ensuring they are trained carefully and peaked to perfection.
"I love training all different types of horses, but I find the two-year-olds’ a lot of fun. What you see is exactly what you get, no hidden agenda.”
“The two-year-olds' are a bit like boiling an egg, you can overcook them very easily and you can make them soft and runny. My job is about making sure they’re just right, just cooked so to speak, to perfection,” she revealed.
Waterhouse also indicated that she would wait until after Saturday’s race to determine the next step for Vancouver should he win, but as always the Triple Crown will be in sight.
“Well I always train all my two year olds to run in the Triple Crown, I think with him I’d just wait and see how he pulled up after the slipper,” she humbly said.
With Tommy Berry, Blake Shinn and Damien Oliver respectively aboard Vancouver, English and Speak Fondly; punters will be confident in backing Waterhouse to add another Slipper to the trophy cabinet.
This article was made possible by the rising Sydney-based Horse Racing Tips page Baddock’s Best. You can follow Baddock’s Best on Facebook and Twitter.