Gai Waterhouse has opted in to the race to win this year’s Melbourne Cup with a handful of well-bred overseas stayers.
The trainer, who is known for her success with two-year-olds, purchased four English horses to add to her already talented stables.
Waterhouse believes that the well-bred four-year-olds will be her best chance ever to win the prestigious $6 million Cup.
She has spent a total of $1 million on the promising gallopers in the effort to claim the race that has so far escaped her.
Australia is home to some of the best sprinters in the world, however, the breeding industry has never been known for its ability to produce world class stayers.
“The European stayers are much better than ours,” Waterhouse said matter-of-factly.
“We went to the sales in England late last year with one purpose: to buy a Melbourne Cup winner.
“The four we purchased are all very promising, well-bred young horses with a lot of scope.”
Waterhouse has since syndicated the horses out to a total of 30 owners, who were already clients at her successful stables.
The trainer will be looking to achieve the same success as fellow Sydney trainer Chris Waller, who has won a variety of top echelon races with his United Kingdom imports.
Waller is best known for his accomplishments with British stayers such as My Kingdom Of Fife, Stand To Gain and Hawk Island.
Waterhouse’s husband Robbie has no doubts that the proven system of buying northern hemisphere stayers will see his wife become competitive in this year’s Melbourne Cup.
“We looked at those English horses that were rated to win at Listed level here and that were young and lightly raced, which left us with about 60 to choose from,” he said.
“Then we watched race replays to see if their action was good and that wiped out many of them.”
The strong Australian dollar allowed Waterhouse to purchase the four Melbourne Cup hopefuls for a fraction of the cost she would have expected to pay just a few years ago.