GAI Waterhouse is set to appeal against a fine imposed on her by racing officials for not reporting More Joyous was unwell before last month’s All Aged Stakes.
The champion horse trainer was fined $5000 for failing to tell Racing NSW stewards the mare had a sore neck in the lead-up to the race, and $500 for failing to record treatment given to the horse.
Chief steward Ray Murrihy said it was a “clear breach” of Waterhouse’s requirement as a trainer to report the condition, but she insisted “there was nothing wrong” with the horse, despite it having swelling, tenderness, sensitivity and soreness in the neck.
Waterhouse told the inquiry, “There is no doubt in my mind she was fit to run. I’m qualified in what I do. I was not trying to hide anything.”
Earlier this month the mare’s owner, John Singleton, was fined $15,000 for making unsubstantiated claims that Waterhouse’s bookmaker son, Tom, passed on inside information about the health of the horse, and for acting aggressively towards his mother at Royal Randwick on April 27.
Tom Waterhouse was cleared of any wrongdoing, with stewards finding “absolutely no evidence” that linked him to having privileged information about the condition of More Joyous or passing it on.
A disappointed Gai Waterhouse told reporters outside the inquiry she could find no condition to stop the horse racing. “It was and is my view that More Joyous had no issues going into the race,” she said. “I’m supported by my professional team and by two vets that examined her as late as the day of the race.”
Waterhouse said her family had been made out to be criminals with “every TV station, every newspaper in the whole world” covering the inquiry, which she labelled “shoddy” and “embarrassing”. “Even the Queen said to her racing manager, ‘What’s going on with Gai Waterhouse in Australia?’” she said.
The highly-publicised inquiry heard evidence from NRL great Andrew Johns, brothel owner Eddie Hayson and ex-jockey Allan Robinson.
It’s the first time Waterhouse has been convicted of either charge.
An independent appeals board hearing date has yet to be set.