The following is Gai Waterhouse’s blog for 8th November on the Melbourne Cup carnival :
The day after the great race and the calls, texts, emails and back slapping has not stopped! And we did not even win. But for the owners it is a dream come true. When Fiorente attacked the line, after a bumping duel on the line, I thought DAM, second again. Then I saw Lea jumping and screaming with delight and I couldn’t help but laugh.
Young Tommy Berry is one who now knows that in Australian racing, Princes and the people can actually mix while enjoying the sport of kings. Tommy heard the royals were at the track and thought it might be nice to meet them. So dressed in his singlet, he shook the hand of the Duchess on Cornwell! The royal couple were more than happy to chat about the day’s events; once Tommy returned to the jockey’s room, Craig Williams mentioned that next time, Tommy might like to wear his silks, not just a singlet!
The week before the Cup, I knew we had two runners, so I decided to have a win, lose or draw dinner for all the owners at the magnificent French Brasserie. I thought that maybe there would be 60 people there, but it ended up like Kate and Luke’s wedding in Taormina with over a 100 people! They had to go next door and get more tables! But the wine flowed, the food was great and the spirits were high.
We cannot take anything away from Glencadam Gold. I noticed Tommy Berry turned his head to the right as they approached the winning post for the first time. He told me later that he could hear a lot of yelling, and he was simply checking for trouble. Glencadam Gold got into a good rhythm as he had done in the Metropolitan Handicap, and was only run down in the shadows of the post. Tommy told me that watching from a far, he felt his Cup mount had not enjoyed the tight turning track at Caulfield in the Caulfield Cup. I mentioned that the horse had won previously at Canterbury, and that is the tightest track around! But Tommy did point out that there, he only won by a nose, and the Caulfield Cup was a slightly better race! It is just amazing how people flick off a horse after they fail as a short priced favourite, as Rob had Glencadam Gold in the Caulfield Cup. But true to his previous form, our original English import led them a merry dance and they had to do everything to chase him down.
As for Fiorente, I told young McDonald that this horse was first up since the middle of September, so he needed a good smother not too far from the leaders. We travelled directly behind Green Moon in a beautiful position; but as they came around the turn, young hoop Hall, gave us a bump. James reacted and Fiorente’s rhythm was stopped for a stride or two. It only takes a stride or two to cost you a length, our eventual losing margin.
It is very interesting that all the Cup placegetters as well as the majority of the top ten all have IRE listed after the names of their sires! Dale Monteith told me that the VRC wanted the best horses in the race and that is what he got! Some were purchased by Lloyd or I, while some were sent here from overseas, but we all were trying to win the Holy Grail. It is after all, one of the highest paying staying races in the world, and one of the most famous races in the world. And why wouldn’t they want to come from Europe! Their season is winding down; winter is approaching. They could stay home and put up with that, or come to beautiful Melbourne and fabulous Flemington and see how the Aussies run a carnival!
Well the Cup is over and Lea, Adrian, Damian and I hit the highway to visit Euroa and Avanel. People often ask me if I stop to admire the countryside. I do as much as possible! Studs are so important; it is great to see where the horses grow up. After all, these are the animals that will require you to cater to their every need for so many years and hopefully they will end up at Flemington one day!
Everything about Flemington screams professionalism. It is the most wonderful place to race, to socialise and to enjoy the sport of kings. On Derby Day I ventured to the Birdcage and to the Lexus marquee. I was surrounded by beautiful people, all dressed exquisitely. Well the Lady Trainer was caught in a whirlwind where I was hugging and kissing people at an extraordinary rate. There were smiles everywhere, and it really was a wonderful place to be. Then it was off to the mounting yard to talk to the jockeys and owners. Then off to the general congregation where the quality of service is second to none, and the view of the beautiful blooming flowers really knocks your socks off.
At Flemington on Sunday we had 130 people at our Flemington stables. Owners, fans, academics, the press, jockeys and friends all enjoying a glass of champagne and some sambos! It was wonderful. Tommy and Nathan Berry, Nash, Vlad Duric, Andrew Bensley and Bryan Martin all took to the stage to give everyone an insight into the coming events of Melbourne Cup day. The horses paraded like they were gentle dogs. The owners could not believe how well their investments were behaving. The heat did get to one lady who fainted with a touch of exhaustion and fatigue. But Phil England, the OHS gentleman from Flemington came to the ladies aid and helped her regain her composure and kept her comfortable.
Bruce talking to the crowd about Glencadam Gold and Fiorente.
Tracy from the VRC has informed me that Breakfast With Gai, which is set for the Rose Room, has had the greatest response. Over 10,000 racing enthusiasts have applied! I hope I can make a few of these people happy by tipping them Fat Al in the Emirates or Hallowell Belle in the Patinack. I really do love how the Melbourne Cup Carnival is so well publicised in our country. Everyone knows the carnival is on. You cannot miss the carnival! Only in Australia and it is fantastic!
On the home front, the Star Thoroughbreds Not A single Doubt x Debutant Robe filly looks like one right out of the box and is primed for her racetrack debut. Romantic Touch (Northern Meteor x Dearness) is another who is working the house down and is just absolutely dying to get to the races!
We are represented in the Hawkesbury Gold Cup by the most honest and reliable horse in the stable, Kontiki Park (Thorn Park x Pretty Special). This horse is of course by the wonderful Thorn Park, whose progeny includes the Cox Plate winner Ocean Park, and last year’s favourite Jimmy Choux. The sexy gelding Wild And Proud (Snowland x Blab) wil also being performing very well in the Hawkesbury Gold Cup. Kinnersley (Al Maher x Miss Radiant) is another who is just so honest and gives his best ever time he runs and is expected to run really well at Hawkesbury. Joining him in the Ladies Day Cup is the Fastnet Rock Mare Upon This Rock (Fastnet Rock x Joleur). Both horses are ready to race and will be running very well.
Adam Hyeronimus has been sharpening my eye with his horses in training photography. I did mention that I would prefer to see the whole horse, including its legs, not just its body! Adam has been open to my constructive criticism and is producing some wonderful photos!
I really do like when I can turn a horse around. Swift Shadow (Encosta De Lago x Gee I Jane) was sent to me by a group from Hong Kong and at first he simply went to hard in all his work. But I gave him a freshen up, and some work on the treadmill and he did not know if he was Arthur or Martha! Now his exercise levels are up, he is saving energy and everything is heading in a positive direction. You will see this at his next start! Getting the best out of every horse is the name of the game!
No Looking Back (Redoute’s Choice x Mirror Mirror), the now three-year-old filly is back in and ready to attack the three-year-old race at the Magic Millions. She is ready to win back her crown at the summer meeting! Star Thoroughbreds Driefontein (Fastnet Rock x Follow Gold) is also back in work heading to the Magic Million to defend her Magic Millions title. Both are going enormous and look ideally set for the Gold Coast.
We are off to one of our favourite watering holes Cecconi’s for a nice dinner with the Cup winner, Lloyd Williams. Lloyd is the most astute businessmen and his knowledge and experience in the racing game is second to none. Hopefully tonight he will bring the Cup, but I won’t dance on the table; I will wait till we win it before I do that!
Source : gaiwaterhouse.com.au