Gai Waterhouse is adamant that More Joyous was race fit when she was sent out a short priced favourite for the Group 1 $400,000 Inglis Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill on April 6.
Waterhouse was fined $2000 yesterday by Racing New South Wales stewards after inquiring into the reason the prominent Sydney trainer failed to report that More Joyous was lame during the week leading up to the Queen Of The Turf Stakes.
The multiple Group 1 winning race mare pulled up lame on the Saturday morning prior and subsequently had her near front shoe removed to be able to treat an abscess in her foot.
With the shoe removed, More Joyous was keep fit with daily swimming sessions at Botany Bay, convincing Waterhouse that the great mare would go into the Queen Of The Turf Stakes as a $1.65 favourite fit enough to win.
“If anything, the horse did more exercise going into this race. She was extremely fit,” Waterhouse said.
Chairman of Stewards Ray Murrihy explained that under Australian Racing Rule 140, Waterhouse was required to report “any condition or occurrence that may affect her running in the race”.
“You’ve got a horse going into a Group 1 race, you didn’t want anybody to see she was lame, and on the evidence from your staff and vets, she was lame for five of the eight days,” Murrihy said.
“Weren’t you entitled to tell stewards about her condition leading into the race?”
More Joyous recovered from her foot injury but was completely out of luck on race day with Nash Rawiller unable to obtain clear running when badly blocked in the straight and when finally in open space, rattled home to finish fifth to the Guy Walter trained Appearance.
Waterhouse’s $2000 comes on the back of her receiving a $5000 fine, which she is appealing, for a similar offence following her public blow up with owner John Singleton before and after the running of the Group 1 $400,000 Yarraman Park All Aged Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on April 27.
On that occasion Singleton was annoyed that other parties had been informed that More Joyous was under a cloud up until race morning and was hit with a $15,000 fine for conduct prejudicial to racing.
Singleton also removed all of his horses from Waterhouse’s Tulloch Lodge and announced that More Joyous would be retired from racing.
More Joyous won over $4.5m from a staggering twenty-one wins from thirty-three starts including eight at Group 1 level.