If you’re in a pub with Gai Waterhouse over the weekend, don’t buy tickets in the raffle.
You’ll stand no chance. She’s winning everything at the minute. You could buy the lot and she’d still walk out with the T-Bone tray.
Something has happened at Tulloch Lodge. It was just a few seasons back that the wheels had fallen off. Winners were hard to find.
The dazzling smile was there, but only just. What hadn’t disappeared though, was her work ethic.
It’s now clear that those in the stable put heads down and bums up. Hard yakka got them back. And some pretty handy horses.
The trainer with racing’s best hats ventured up the highway for the big Newcastle carnival during the week. Day one they knocked off the Spring Stakes, with the highly impressive Proisir.
How good is this bloke? He left them for dead in the long Broadmeadow straight. Even Gai was surprised at the ease of the victory. Not speechless, just surprised.
Twenty-four hours later, the Waterhouse colours claimed the Newcastle Cup with Glencadam Gold. An imported stayer, of course. Found by husband Rob in the UK.
Even Nash Rawiller was impressed. It’s always exciting seeing a distance horse bowling along in front, and still being there at the post.
Both winners will eventually head to Melbourne. Part of Gai’s strongest team to venture south in many years. Maybe ever.
And that prompts the question we usually hear in September. Why can’t Gai dominate over the border?
History tells us that for such a successful trainer, her returns in Melbourne have been slim.
She’s won a Caulfield Cup. No luck in the Cox Plate. Nothing from the Melbourne Cup either, although Nothin’ Leica Dane was unlucky in 1995.
Compare that to what racing’s First Lady has achieved elsewhere, especially in her home town, and it makes no sense.
There are narks out there who seem to get a kick out of it. She’s such an easy target. Always willing to put herself out there. Promoting the sport day in, day out.
This year, those smarties might be out of pocket. Because the Waterhouse team is on fire.
She has a stranglehold on the Caulfield Guineas. The winner will come from her trio of Pierro, Proisir or Kabayan.
What about the Cox Plate? The top two in the market are Gai’s favourite, More Joyous, and the superstar three-year-old Pierro.
Finally, she has some decent Cup contenders. Glencadam Gold will be well supported. Fat Al, Julienas and Strawberry Boy are being talked up.
There is confidence in the camp. The team is flying. It would be a brave punter to leave any of her top hopes out in the coming weeks.
Winning form is good form. Whether it’s Group Ones, or pub raffles. Don’t be surprised if Gai is celebrating with those T-bones by the end of the carnival.