Gai’s Blog 16-11-12

The following is a copy of Gai Waterhouse’s latest blog :

On the road again! This time through the Hunter Valley searching for next year’s champions. The team and I really feel we have found them! I love inspecting the yearlings; the way they are trotted out by the stud masters is truly fantastic. It is interesting the different conditions at different studs and how they affect the chances of the foals and yearlings. For a long time I have felt that a higher elevation and bigger pasture greatly increases the chances of these young horses becoming successful.

There is great comradery in the automobile as we duck and weave through the Hunter Valley. Bruce is behind the wheel and in charge, while Lea, Adrian and I discuss various world issues while enjoying the beautiful scenery. We have also picked up a new recruit; Emma Pearce, from the Darley Flying Start program has joined our entourage and she is handling herself splendidly. On her first day with the Lady Trainer at Randwick trackwork, Emma was legging up jockeys, leading horses and taking extra notice of the clocking of horses. Emma was generally getting swept up in the whirlwind that is a morning at the track with Gai.

Sunday was a most productive day at the stables. After all the owners had enjoyed their morning, it was just me and the foremen left to carefully go over every horse. This is an important time for a trainer; we can discuss the plans for every horse as well as deciding if any particular horses need a unique training plan or a change of scenery.

Breeders in the Hunter are generally concerned about the near draught like conditions they are facing. And compared to the lush areas of Victoria that I have been frequenting in recent weeks, the Hunter is noticeably dry. But this is not a bad thing. I have always felt that yearlings and foals can thrive in these hot dry conditions.

Last night the team and I enjoyed the most fun-filled dinner at Carmen in Muswellbrook. Henry Field, whose Newgate Farm draft is a must see, joined us at dinner along with Francesca Cumani and her beau Rob Archibald together with James Bester and Bridget Roberts. Another Flying Start participant, young Steve who is working with Henry, also joined us.

There was one particularly hilarious moment after dinner when our fairy floss based desert was served. Francesca grabbed some of the pink fairy floss and gave herself a very handsome pink moustache! I instantly felt the need to tweet the photo and in my bouts of laughter, I offered a day at the races with Gai, for the first person who could correctly (using twitter) identify the lady with the pink mo! Well my gosh! The twitter went mad with contestants who were both looking to win the Day With Gai and poke fun at Francesca! I quickly had to fire off a message to ATC CEO Darren Pearce explaining that I may have started a competition! Well Darren messaged back straight away and explained that it was no problem, and Christmas Cup day would be perfect!

Now we are driving into Vinery Stud and Adrian Bott has squeezed into the car. Driving around the studs has been a real challenge considering the amount of back-roads and secret passages there are around Scone! Adrian somehow knows them all and as such has been appointed chief navigator! Tonight we are all going to catch up with a few mates, talk about horses, breeding, training, ownership and everything else that comes with this fabulous industry.  Bonsoir

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