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A LADY NAMED GAI AND THE POWERHOUSE BEHIND HORSE RACING



Of course, she’s in the starring role and is the marquee value name behind the brand. That’s a given. What’s always impressed me, however is the way Gai Waterhouse intuitively knows how best to market and promote her brand and horse racing in Australia- and keep everything fresh and relevant.


She’s also always been very very good at building the right team around her, usually a young team with her knowing that this is where the future of the game is headed and understanding the need for balance.


It’s about being experienced enough to see who’s past their Use By date and who has the ammunition for the future.

Could Gai Waterhouse run a racing club? Of course she could, but why should she want to?


She’s got the best of all worlds without wading through never-ending politics, dealing with old dogs who can’t learn new tricks, a media landscape that’s so long in the tooth that it’s toothless, and in the process, perhaps losing sight of her love for racing horses.


It’s something she learned all about from her famous father- and a hard act to follow.

Watching some of the recent simulcasts of the major races in Australia, a cameo by the great lady brightens everything around her. It really does.


During Derby Day at Flemington, it made me smile to hear the Hoss man screaming out for “Ciaran” and then blurt out to Gai how the very good paddock parade expert had picked Ozzmosis to win the Coolmore Stakes.

It didn’t matter that Ozzmosis is trained by Bjorn Baker and was ridden by Rachel King, a rider she constantly supports.


It was about Gai enjoying the moment and complementing the paddock expert- wish I knew her name- for her combination of beauty and intelligence.


Gai works on instinct and what comes naturally.


It’s like the instinctive ability of Team Waterhouse-Bott to find the right partners for the stable’s army of boom boom equine talent.

As we should all know by now, Timmy Clark aka The Hobbit, who enjoys travelling under the radar, is at the top of the list in the pecking order for rides on the stable’s Group 1 team.

There’s then the loyalty she places on Adam Hyeronimus, below, as he continues along his comeback trail, Reagan Bayliss, Jordan Childs, Winona Costin and Rachel King.

At a time in the world where there’s so much negativity and anxiety and divisiveness, horse racing in Australia is very blessed- yes, blessed- to have Gai Waterhouse shining a bright light of positivity wherever she goes.


This is real leadership.


It’s about making things fun, looking at things and knowing how some rules have run their course and need to be broken for new things to be replenished and grow.


It’s also understanding what it takes to be an inspirational mentor and brilliant ambassador for horse racing.


This is what it takes to be the irreplaceable and quite wonderful Gai Waterhouse.


She really is something.


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