2013 Melbourne Cup winner trainer Gai Waterhouse has called for Australian Racing Authorities to change their programming of staying races and changes the distances of races like the Brisbane Cup and Perth Cup back to 3200 metres.
Waterhouse finally broke through to record a maiden Melbourne Cup victory with imported stayer Fiorente at Flemington yesterday and she told Racing Ahead this morning that Australian trainers who want to have a serious chance in ‘the race that stops a nation’ need to look at purchasing a seasoned European stayer because they have a much better grounding as stayers due to the multitude of staying races on offer.
The leading trainer argued that racing authorities need to add more staying events to the Australian racing calendar and believes that the racing public enjoys watching races over longer distances that are prevalent in the United Kingdom and Europe.
“The last few years they have completely dominated and they are just too seasoned stayers -that is the problem,” Waterhouse said on RSN.
“If you want to have a really competitive chance in the Melbourne Cup, you have to think seriously about buying a European horse.
“They should be extending all the Cups to 3200 metres; it is madness having them over 2400 metres.
“Cups should be run over two miles and further and that is what we can’t compete against overseas.
“The two-year-olds start over 1400 metres and go up and they have 5000 metre races over there.
“They are wonderful races and people like to come and watch the longer races.”
Waterhouse has had success with a number of imported stayers, like Glencadam Gold, but Fiorente has clearly been her most successful internationally-bred acquisition; with the Monsun entire yet to produce a bad performance since making his Australian racing debut with a second place finish in the 2012 Melbourne Cup.
Fiorente has shown a great deal of versatility in Australia, being placed at Group 1 level over 1400 metres (All Aged Stakes), 2040 metres (Cox Plate) and 3200 meters (Melbourne Cup), and Waterhouse said that she considers the imported stayer ‘the perfect horse’.
“He has never put a foot wrong,” Waterhouse said.
“If you asked for the perfect horse you would have to say that it was Fiorente.
“He has always been an upmost professional, he has a great disposition, he loves his work and he enjoys racing.”
There has been a great deal of speculation about the future of Fiorente, since his Melbourne Cup victory, and Waterhouse said that she is yet to make a decision about her plans for the Melbourne Cup winner, but admitted that a trip to Royal Ascot was on the agenda.
“We have a number of plans in a mind for him, Ascot being one of them, but I think we will just wait and see how he comes through a little break,” Waterhouse said.
“I made up my mind at the beginning of the year that I would travel my horses a lot more and this might be the beginning of us being a travelling stable.
“I have basically been pretty close to home most of my life training, apart from a few forays overseas, and this might be the start of a new era.”
Waterhouse will have the opportunity to finish the 2013 Melbourne Cup Carnival with another big win when Spurtonic contests the Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on Saturday.