As the most recognisable name in Australian racing, everyone in the nation has heard of Gai Waterhouse.
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We were fortunate enough to sit down with Gai as she took us through what she considers the top five wins in her career. Unable to separate them, here are the wins in no particular order…
1: Fiorente in the Melbourne Cup, 2013
What better way to start the list than with Gai’s first Melbourne Cup Victory in 2013 with Fiorente, completing a thrilling victory from Red Cadeaux and Mount Athos.
“One of the greatest thrills of my life,” explained Gai.
Finishing second in 2012, Fiorente showed greater stamina over the final 250 metres to hold out Red Cadeaux, the runner-up to Dunaden in 2011.
Damien Oliver, the jockey for the winning Fiorente, couldn’t have summed up the win any better.
“I’m so rapt that I could be part of Gai’s first one. She’s done so much for racing and it’s a great honour for me to help bring home her first one.”
2: Trifecta in the Golden Slipper in 2001 – Ha Ha, Excellerator & Red Hannigan
The Golden Slipper is the world’s richest race for two-year-olds and stamps the winning thoroughbred with the hallmark of fame early in its racing career.
In what may never be repeated, Gai trained horses Ha Ha, Exellerator and Red Hannigan succeeded in completing the trifecta in the 2001 Golden Slipper, which also marked Gai’s first Golden Slipper win. Ridden by Jim Cassidy, Ha Ha scored a decisive length and a quarter victory with her sire Danehill’s progeny equalling the legendary Star Kingdom’s record of five Slipper Winners.
3: All Our Mob winning the Newmarket in 95 then taking out the MacKinnon in 96
The Newmarket Handicap is considered to be the premier open handicap sprint event of the year and marked Gai’s first Group One victory in Melbourne in 1995 with All Our Mob, who Gai described as “a very special horse.”
Leading up to the 1995 Newmarket, All Our Mob was in pretty good form but had not won since the winter of 1994. However, the gelding’s success was instilled in 1995 in Australia’s greatest sprint race as he stormed home to win in what was the second fastest winning time since the switch to the metric system.
All Our Mob went on to win the MacKinnon stakes aka The Emirates Stakes in 1996, which is a 2000m, Group 1 race under Weight For Age conditions at Flemington. A special horse indeed!
4: Dance Hero winning the Group 1 Salinger Stakes – 2006
In 2006, Gai Waterhouse capped off a spectacular day winning two Group 1 races, the Mackinnon Stakes with Desert War and the Salinger Stakes with Dance Hero. Dance Hero is the highest earning two-year-old in Australian racing history and most probably the world. The gelding won a total $3.9 million dollars throughout his career and his final victory came at the Salinger Stakes in 2006 as a six-year-old. Amassing 10 wins and 8 placings in 33 starts, as Gai explained after the win in 2006, “a lot of people have been pulling on his tail since he was champion two-year-old but I never lost faith in him.”
5: Pinot winning the Group 1 Kennedy Oaks
The Group 1 Kennedy Oaks was a win that had for two decades manage to elude the Lady Trainer. That was, until Pinot crossed the line in 2017 to win the coveted $1 million race at Flemington.
Stephen Baster, who has ridden eight winners for Waterhouse, described the ecstasy of winning the race in such an obscure manner.
“Absolutely unbelievable. It went against everything I’ve been taught as a jockey, but we got an easy half mile and when they came, I knew we still had some gears left.”
Upsetting the odds by beating short favourite Aloisia, Pinot was forced to make a mid-race move to push into her regular on-pace position before showing outstanding fight in the straight to take the win.
Gai Waterhouse is training the potential early runner, Not A Royal Doubt with her co-trainer Adrian Bott. You can purchase an ownership unit in this filly for just $275 (plus $15 a month for training, admin, insurance, vet fees etc).
Units in this horse are nearing majority sold so act now and get on board the muscular filly. If you prefer another horse or trainer, you can check out Our Stable.