Gai Waterhouse Wins Her First Melbourne Cup
RSS Feeds Friday, 8 November 2013

Tuesday was a very special day!

Gai Waterhouse claimed her first Group 1 Melbourne Cup with Fiorente proving he is all class when pulling away in the final stages of the race to beat 23 other runners who together formed the toughest/strongest/most competitive Cup field ever.

After gaining her trainer's licence in 1992 Gai had run second three times in the Melbourne Cup with Te Akau Nick, Nothin Leica Dane and Firoente in 2012. It was only three years ago that Gai, runner less in the Cup that year, and husband Robbie decided to focus on the 'holy grail of Australian racing'. 

Form student Robbie got to work scouring the globe to find Cup prospects who were then secured with the support of Gai's many stable clients. Success soon flowed:

  • Descarado - Caulfield Cup and Caulfield Stakes
  • Glencadam Gold and Herculian Prince - Metropolitan Handicap
  • Tullamore - Brisbane Cup
  • Any many other minor Cup winners including Western Symbol, Julienas, Under The Sun, Reuben Percival etc

Fiorente was the first private purchase out of Europe in a deal put together by James Harron. Gai, Rob and James where on hand to see Fiorente win at Newmarket in May 2012, the deal was finally done in October 2012.

I remember the night vividly as James and I were both enjoying a beer after work in Double Bay, Sydney. I was on the phone to Gai/Rob and stable clients in between James making offers and counter offers, every time having to push a little harder to secure the big dark son of Monsun. Thankfully we valued him higher than everyone else and in time it has proven to be a great decision. His owners deserve plenty of praise for believing in what Gai had set out to achieve also, without them Tuesday would never have happened.

I have no doubt Fiorente has plenty more feature race wins to come. He has so much class and I have no doubt he is as effective at 2000m as he is at 3200m and I think his Cox Plate run proves this. I look forward watching him race on next season.

From a Round Table Racing point of view Tres Blue failed to perform at his best in the Melbourne Cup. The highly talented three-year-old was the least experienced horse in the field and it showed.

Tres Blue's youthfulness did not cope all that well with the big occasion and we was noticeably over-excited before the race. On the way to the gates and in running he never settled and over-raced badly. Over 3200m you cannot afford to expend any extra energy and the young colt had tired himself out by the time the real pressure was applied in the straight.

I was very happy to see Tres Blue pull up well after the race. He is a highly talented young racehorse and I have no doubt that once he settles in Australia he will give all of his owners plenty of fun and success. He will now spell with a view to the Autumn.