Racing: Waterhouse gracefully calm in eye of storm

By Mike Hedge

Gai Waterhouse. Photo / Kenny Rodger
Gai Waterhouse. Photo / Kenny Rodger

Somewhat appropriately under the circumstances, trainer-of-the-moment Gai Waterhouse is this week gracing the racing carnival that ranks as Australia's most controversial.

Waterhouse, who is embroiled in a raging controversy that began at Randwick on Saturday when she crossed swords with billionaire owner John Singleton, bounced into action on day-one of the Warrnambool meeting yesterday as if nothing had happened.

Singleton removed his horses from Waterhouse's stable after the row that centred on glamour mare More Joyous.

Waving to racegoers who shouted encouragement as she arrived at the course, Waterhouse went on to speak at a private lunch, declining to comment on the unseemly affair.

Singleton has accused Waterhouse of passing on sensitive information to her bookmaker son Tom about More Joyous. The matter is under investigation by stewards and an inquiry will continue on Monday.

With jumps racing under pressure from animal rights lobbyists, the Warrnambool meeting which features Australia's longest and most gruelling horse race, tomorrow's Grand Annual Steeplechase, inevitably attracts concerted protests.

The opening event the first division of the maiden hurdle went to Viking Tiger, trained by local horseman Ciaron Maher with another Warrnambool-trained runner, Love Or Gold, taking out the second division.

The only casualty in the two races was jockey Gerrard Gilmour who was taken to hospital after falling from Lake Eerie.

- AAP

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