Racing royalty checks out our horses
IT IS not often that racing royalty visits the Darling Downs.
Widely regarded as one of Australia's premier horse trainers, Gai Waterhouse has spent the day familiarising herself with the offerings of the region's leading horse studs in the lead-up to the summer yearling sales.
Mrs Waterhouse said the region had a very strong reputation in racing circles.
"I am here looking at all the yearlings before they go to the Magic Millions sales next year," Mrs Waterhouse said.
"It is extremely beneficial for me and I believe it gives me an edge over my competitors.
"The Darling Downs historically has been a fantastic breeding ground for premier horses," she said.
Mrs Waterhouse, talking to The Chronicle over lunch at Eureka Stud in Cambooya, said she loved visiting the region.
"I try to get up here at least once a year," she said.
"I think Toowoomba and the Darling Downs is a fantastic part of the world and I really love coming here.
"The Queensland hospitality in general is marvellous. People are so warm and friendly."
Mrs Waterhouse said her proudest moment in racing was training the first three placegetters in the 2001 Golden Slipper which was won by Ha Ha.
"I love watching them make the leap of faith from being a provincial horse to being a group one winner," she said.
"I really love horse racing. I love working with horses but most of all I love the people.
"It is the people you meet that makes racing what it is."
Mrs Waterhouse, who trains horses all over the country, said she might return one day to the Garden City with one of her thoroughbred stars.
"You never know. One day you might see a Gai Waterhouse horse racing at Clifford Park," she said.
"Stranger things have happened."
After a mediocre Melbourne spring racing carnival by her standards, Mrs Waterhouse lifted the lid on one of racing's formidable partnerships.
"Yes, I am now talking to John Singleton again," she said.
"He is in America at the moment and if he is lucky I will throw him a party when he gets back."