Anh’s Brush with Fame: June 22

Guest: Gai Waterhouse.

The subject this week on Anh’s Brush with Fame is horse trainer Gai Waterhouse.

Gai Waterhouse is the leading lady of Australian horse-racing and the daughter of legendary trainer TJ Smith. She took over the family stable in 1992 and has become one of the top trainers of all time. She grew up on the racecourses and learnt a lot from her father who was a much-loved character in the world of racing.

Gai dreamt of a life on the stage and worked in Europe before her love of racing saw her return to the track. She became a trailblazer in the industry and fought hard for her right to work after the Australian Jockey Club rejected her application for a trainer’s license because she was married to bookmaker Robbie Waterhouse. Robbie was banned from the track because, it was claimed, he had knowledge of a horse being switched in race. The incident became known as the ‘Fine Cotton Affair’ and rocked the world of racing. The Act of Parliament meant women could not be discriminated against because of their husband’s actions and it speaks to the tenacity and fighting spirit of Gai.

Gai took over Tulloch Lodge, the family stable, in 1992. Within ten years, she had equaled her father’s record of one hundred and fifty-six wins in a single season. Her horses have taken more than two hundred and fifty million in prize money for their owners.

Gai Waterhouse is a dynamic person with a big personality and has lived an intriguing life. Anh has to capture the poise and energy of one of this country’s best horse trainers.

Production credits: A Screentime Production. Executive Producer Johnny Lowry. ABC Commissioning Editor Julie Hanna.

8pm Tuesday on ABC.

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