With over three decades of dedication to the Thoroughbred industry, Waterhouse has cemented herself as one of the most influential people behind buoyant Australian Thoroughbred Sales.
Expanding her impressive reach, the trainer, former actress and racing influencer has now gone into partnership with her former bloodstock agent Bruce Slade, to provide more service to her clients and realise more stable success.
In celebration of her purchase of 51 yearlings for over A$ 14.48 million, The Impact caught up with the industry darling to discuss everything from her plans for her high-value yearlings, her unfettered ambition for another Golden Slipper and the factors that influence her purchases.
Q: At the Easter Yearling Sale, you purchased 13 horses under the A$500,000 mark and similarly last year also you purchased 9 horses under the A$500,000 mark. Is there a trend or a system to this approach?
A: We purchase horses we particularly like on physique, type and pedigree. Over the years I’ve had great success buying in this price bracket. Dance Hero, Vancouver, Pierro, Shout The Bar, Sebring were all very affordable. It is also far less risk for my co-trainer Adrian Bott, who is only a young man, than if we put our necks out for the really expensive horse. Of course, if we absolutely love one, we will try to not let it escape.
Q: What are your plans for the A$400,000 Snitzel filly and the A$480,000 Not a Single Doubt colt purchased by you at Easter? Where do you see them racing as a 2YOs and for what sort of distances? Furthermore, what was special about the A$700,000 Not a Single Doubt (AUS)/ Rhodamine (AUS) filly purchased by you earlier this year at the Gold Coast? Where is she now and what are your plans for her?
A: All yearlings are purchased with the hope of winning the Golden Slipper. I never put them in a box, I treat them as 2YOs and give them every chance. That’s why I’ve been a success with horses like Dance Hero, Pierro and Vancouver whom many would have said were bred to be later maturers.
I first saw Not A Single Doubt x Rhodamine six weeks before the sale at Silverdale Farm. She was typical of the sire, compact and neat, a lovely feminine filly. Adrian and I discussed her with some of our owners and we went into play hoping we’d be successful in purchasing her, which we were.
Q: You have purchased 41 horses this year, spending A$14.48 million during the overall yearling sales season. Do you anticipate any more private yearling purchases this year? Has this been a consistent buying trend over the last few years or did you find a jump due to the strong industry performance we are seeing currently?
A: The demand for horses is strong in Australia, as it is overseas. The market is extremely buoyant and we have taken advantage of this. Our interest for the remainder of the year will be in purchasing tried horses.
Q: This year you partnered with Kestrel Thoroughbreds for quite a few purchases? What brought about this new association? Please tell us the story if possible?
A: Bruce Slade worked with me after coming over from New Zealand and we work very well together. He’s an exciting, big-thinking young man who has wonderful contacts in the industry through Australia and New Zealand. He adds a new dimension to our business.
Q: When it comes to buying racehorses do you find that yearlings are your best bet or do you also like to review the horses at the ready-to-race sales across NZ and Australia later in the year as well? And if yes, how different is your research and selection methodology compared to yearling purchases? Do such things as fashionable sires come into the picture or are race track results of siblings and half-siblings and breeze times more significant criteria for your purchases?
A: We’ve had more success purchasing yearlings over a period of 30 years than we have with horses from ready-to-race sales. They require two different skill sets and I am looking for Golden Slipper winners. They come from the yearling sales.