Waterhouse Crowned Legend as Surf Dancer Fails at The Gong

Ben H / 27 November 2023

Last Updated on 27 November 2023

Gai Waterhouse has been elevated to legend status at the Australian Racing Hall of Fame at Optus Stadium on Thursday. Waterhouse and Adrian Bott were in Perth, where the former’s significant impact on Australian racing was once again recognized by the industry in what might be their most successful season to date. Waterhouse and Bott have already won four Group 1 races in the 2023/24 season.

Loves Everything Equine

Waterhouse’s close friend Bruce McAvaney thanked “Gai” for taking everyone on the ride and for making a difference in their lives as he presented her with a beautiful crystal vase.

Gai proceeded to praise all inductees and trainers present, paying special tribute to the likes of Chris Waller, Bob Peters, James Cummings and Clarry Conners, who she thought had two things in common with her. First, they shared the same “love for the equine” and second, they all had that competitive drive to “achieve greatness.”

Proud of her Family

However, despite being elevated to legend status by the racing industry, Waterhouse felt her biggest achievement in life was her “marriage to Rob” and her children, with her daughter Kate saying they had “a fabulous mother” who was also a “mentor” and a “role model.”

Gai reserved special praise for Adrian Bott, who she said was a joy to work with, as he was “a great trainer” who was very talented and astute. She thanked him for making her enjoy every training session.

Other notable inductees to the Australian Racing Hall of Fame included trainer Clarry Conners, the late jockey Frank Treen, and Bob Peters, recognized as an Associate of Racing. Thoroughbred inductees included mares Miss Andretti and Emancipation, as well as colt Baguette.

Surf Dancer Will Get More Chances

Waterhouse and Bott’s season could have been made even better if they clinched back-to-back wins at the 1,600-metre The Gong at Kembla Grange with outsider Surf Dancer after winning the event last year with Riodini. However, Detonator Jack won the $1-million race ahead of Loch Eagle and bookies’ favourite Osipenko.

Nevertheless, Surf Dancer will get more chances to prove his quality, as Bott confirmed the pair were planning to take him to The Ingham as he would be well-suited to compete in the Group 2 race held at Randwick Racecourse.

Ben H
Ben Harris is the Communications Manager for KRUZEY, an AFL and NRL expert, and writer. He has one daughter that he loves dearly and five... [Read full bio]

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