More Joyous rests at Strawberry Hill Stud as more drama brews

Champion race mare More Joyous is resting at Strawberry Hills Stud while the controversy surrounding her high profile owner John Singleton, trainer Gai Waterhouse and her bookie son Tom continues to brew leading up to Friday’s stewards’ inquiry.

more joyous

More Joyous at the centre of the split between owner John Singleton and trainer Gai Waterhouse. Photo by Steve Hart.

More Joyous was floated directly to the Mt White Stud after fading to finish seventh to glamour three year old All Too Hard in the Group 1 $400,000 Yarraman Park All Aged Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on Saturday.

And the rest of Singleton’s team from Waterhouse’s stable were floated there on Sunday morning following the very public pre-race and post-race tiff between himself and Waterhouse claiming Tom Waterhouse had knowledge of an injury to More Joyous and had passed on that information to friends.

“It is not fair as people back my horses – there is too much conflict of interest,” Singleton said after the race.

Immediately following the running of the All Aged Stakes, Singleton announced that he would be removing all his horses from Waterhouse’s stables and that she would be sacked as his trainer.

Apart from Tom Waterhouse being required to attend Friday’s inquiry along with all connected with the training of More Joyous to clear the air, the prominent bookmaker is threatening to sue Singleton, claiming his remarks could be defamatory.

“This is wrong, completely wrong. I am going to see my lawyers about defamation,” Tom Waterhouse said.

“I never said to anyone that the horse had any treatment or anything wrong with it at all.”

“I never said to anyone that the horse has any set back or any injury and I don’t like it because of that.

“If anyone does not think Mum is out there trying to win every time, they don’t know her.”

“I feel upset for mum. No one works harder or puts more into the horses or wants to give more to racing than mum.”

Gai Waterhouse admitted to stewards on Saturday after the race that More Joyous has been treated for a minor neck injury following Thursday morning track work, but had been passed fit to start by her stable vet Dr Leane Begg and Singleton’s vet  Dr John Peatfield on Saturday morning.

But Waterhouse had failed to inform stewards of the setback prior to the race , which she should have under the rules of racing and Singleton claims he only heard of the problem via friends before he arrived at the races.

Racing New South Wales chief steward Ray Murrihy will be asking Singleton for detailed information relating to his allegations that other parties had inside information of More Joyous’ injury when the inquiry resumes.

“He’s making the allegation that there is a conflict of interest and can’t support it with the name of one person and Tom Waterhouse has a book that is either balanced or with the winner being a worst result where does that take you?” Murrihy said.

“Plenty of people engage in racecourse rumour, but if he’s not prepared to name them we will consider how vital that is.

“The fact that he doesn’t want to name them doesn’t add a lot of strength to the whole matter.”

Gai’s bookmaker husband Robbie Waterhouse will also appear at the inquiry following reports of a minor confrontation with Singleton near the scales area.

“It was reported that there was a bit of jousting between the two and it didn’t appear to be terribly appropriate so we will look at that matter in full total of the issues we have before us,” Murrihy said.

Trainer Tony McEvoy who has recently taken over Byford Lodge at Hawkesbury has been tipped to take over the training of some of Singleton horses but the top Adelaide trainer couldn’t confirm that yesterday.

“My hat is in the ring,” McEvoy said.

“I have trained winners for ‘Singo’ and I get on with him very well and as soon as the rift blew up he was fully aware of my plans.”

Waterhouse has trained twenty-six Group 1 winners for Singleton over many years with More Joyous collecting eight of those.

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.

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