Category Archives: Andrew Johns

No big finish but beaut racehorse inquiry

Singo, Waterhouse charged but Johns, Hayson, Robinson evidence comes to nought

Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be lawyers

Make ’em be trainers and bookies and such

Chris Murphy

RACEHORSE owner John Singleton copped a guilty plea but Gai Waterhouse is protesting her innocence.
As I predicted in earlier posts, Waterhouse and Singleton were both charged at the NSW Racing inquiry into the failure of millionaire mare More Joyous.
If I had that sort of excellent form for punting on horses, I’d be a wealthy man – and probably not writing this report.
Singleton has come out of this affair quite nicely. He was talked out of putting $100,000 on his failing horse More Joyous. He was fined 15k for bringing horse racing into disrepute. He is 85 grand in front and enjoyed himself immensely playing the lovable larrikin.
As loyal readers of my posts will remember, I predicted trainer Gai Waterhouse would retire or scale down her racing empire, after the inquiry. By an unexpected circumstance, I could be proved right for the treble.
We all expected Waterhouse to be charged for not doing her homework by omitting from her exercise book treatment on More Joyous. She left it out of her essay What I Did in My Stable this Week.
She was charged with that but also with the far more serious offence of ‘fail to report to the stewards any condition or occurrence that may affect the running of a horse in a race.’
Most of us thought Waterhouse would escape this charge as her vet gave evidence that More Joyous’s ailment and treatment were ‘routine’
But that conditional ‘may’ can be a real bastard. Now Waterhouse has to prove the condition or incidence had zero probability, within a margin of error, of affecting the performance of More Joyous. Waterhouse has pleaded innocence and her lawyers will argue the toss next week.
Gai ran true to recent form and, indignant, she said she had done nothing wrong in 20 years, a claim Mother Teresa might have had trouble substantiating in her best two decades.
The stewards found no fault against Waterhouse’s bookmaking son Tom.
They fed peanuts to the elephant in the room, the rumours about the direction of the evidence of football Immortal Andrew Johns, ex-jockey Allan Robinson and brothel owner/ big punter Eddie Hayson.
Johns tried to please everyone by saying Tom Waterhouse told him the bookie did not like the chances of More Joyous. Johns said Waterhouse never said the horse was ‘off’.
The smart money was on Johns saying this but colourful Sydney lawyer Chris Murphy begged to differ. Murphy was representing ex-jockey Robinson and the lawyer had expectations of exposure of dirty deeds.
Murphy tweeted, ‘Some days I wish I wasn’t a lawyer. This is one of those days. Think I’ll go take a long hot shower.’
He was disappointed in Johns. ‘Please disregard anything positive I may have ever tweeted in positive expectation re Andrew Johns. He had his chance,’ he tweeted.’
Without support from Johns, Murphy nixed additional evidence from Robinson after stewards refused to bring back punter Eddie Hayson to the room to hear what Robinson had to say.
Befuddled readers are wondering what Hayson has to do with this inquiry. I could tell you but the defamation lawyers are circling. Suffice to say Hayson and one other person are central to the conspiracy theory which Chris Murphy believes to be true.
If Gai Waterhouse is found guilty that theory may yet get its first full public hearing.

Expensive deeds

Courting again

Murphy, Robinson add spice to Waterhouse/Singleton stoush
ACERBIC lawyer Chris Murphy highlighted today’s racing stewards inquiry as a defamation-free zone where trainer Gai Waterhouse described his client Alan Robinson as “trumped up little jockey”.  Robinson and football legend Andrew Johns will appear at today’s inquiry to say whether they told owner John Singleton his mare was “off” and could not win the All Aged Stakes at Randwick.
Singleton said the information initially came from Waterhouse’s bookmaker son, Tom.
John’s is likely to repudiate such claims but Robinson with the assistance of lawyer Murphy will maintain his.
Murphy has already slammed the Waterhouses after the first day of the inquiry last week.
The snobbery of racing’s royal family (the Waterhouses) .. they turn me sick,” Mr Murphy told ABC radio.
He added, ‘Gai is a failed actress who married a perjurer.”
As is their want, the Waterhouses threatened legal action against Murphy who will enjoy unbridled freedom on today’s perjury free zone.

Respect is the word

Gai Waterhouse erupts in extraordinary outburst against John Singleton in defence of her son Tom
We are family

AT the Sydney racing inquiry trainer Gai Waterhouse berated owner John Singleton for intemperate language to threaten her career and that of her bookmaker son, Tom. She proceeded to strafe and possibly down her career with ill-chosen words.

Owners, trainers and jockeys are almost as crucial to the racing industry as gamblers. Waterhouse showed scant respect for her complementary industrialists when she said,
It’s a trumped-up little jockey, a brothel owner and a footballer, and that’s itThat’s why we’re here, that’s what our livelihoods are swinging on in front of you today. They’re the people who are discrediting my son, my husband, and myself.”
Grammarians and advocates of indiscriminate language would bristle at little jockey, a reference to retired jockey Allan Robinson. But grammarians and the politically correct mostly have not the cash to buy racehorses. Ex-footballer and current TV commentator Andrew Johns has. So too do many professionals and business people who regard champion footballers and even jockeys highly, an esteem seemingly not shared by Waterhouse.
The brothel owner in question is Eddie Hayson, a big punter who reportedly owes Gai’s son Tom millions of dollars in gambling debts.

Football Immortal Johns sparked the affair by telling Robinson and Hayson the Singleton owned, Gai Waterhouse trained mare was “off” and could not win the All Aged Stakes at Randwick.

Jones, who said he got the info from Tom Waterhouse, has agreed  to front the racing inquiry on Monday  as has Robinson. Hayson has until Friday to agree to appear.
If he persists to dodge the investigation, Hayson is likely to be banned from every racetrack in the world, perhaps for life.  That would be a heart-wrenching punishment and he does not need Gai Waterhouse belittling him on top of it.
The trainer reserved the unkindest cut of all for owner John Singleton. As well as telling her supposed mate of 35 years he should have shut up, she offered a comparison to explain the failure of his much loved mare More Joyous. “Maybe she’s a seven-year-old mare and she’s old – like you!” Waterhouse said.
She knows full well More Joyous (foaled 20 August 2006) is a 6-year-old. She probably made the intentional error to grab Singleton’s attention for the barb to follow.
Singleton is 71-years-old. Many racehorse owners are around that age, retired and having fun before they go forever to the spelling paddock in the sky. A lot of owners will take exception to that Waterhouse remark and I am sure chief steward Ray Murrihy will mention it in his summation.
It is ironic that Gai Waterhouse retained a dignified silence before the inquiry while Singleton and Tom Waterhouse traded verbal slings.
In one day at the inquiry Waterhouse has blown all her credits of public goodwill.
It would not surprise me to see her retire or vastly scale down her racing business. The Gai 58-year-old said too much.

There is a marked difference between vitriol and sat

Entertaining racing inquiry wins

Singo Waterhouses slug it out and they should let us watch on TV
It’s a phar lap to the end of this tail

OWNER John Singleton was drunk. Racehorse More Joyous was “off” and unfit to run. Trainer Gai Waterhouse forgot the required paper-work. Someone at a television station helped rugby league Immortal Andrew Johns with his homework. No one laid a glove on ever-smiling bookmaker Tom Waterhouse but discussion of his betting records wait for another today.
Today, Monday, Australian time, the New South Wales  Racing inquiry rose above salacious expectations reinforcing that racing stewards were spoilsports in not allowing it to be televised.
So far no one has dug out any huge scalp but it was satisfying to hear trainer Gai Waterhouse  and her bookmaker son Tom yelling across the stewards’ room that John Singleton’s drunkenness was the reason they were all there.
The official reason was Singleton had publicly declared at Randwick racecourse that trainer Waterhouse had told book maker Waterhouse Singo’s champion mare More Joyous could not win the All Aged Stakes.
More Joyous duly vindicated Singo’s prediction to finish second last.
Gai Waterhouse became indignant during the inquiry in the NSW capital of Sydney. She described Singleton’s accusations as “outlandish”. When asked with  whom she spoke about More Joyous’s condition, Waterhouse snapped, “What are you implying?” The point of the question was obvious and unworthy of her umbrage.
The trainer had to admit an error in that pre-race treatments of More Joyous were not recorded in the mare’s logbook. This is not as serious a breach as it first sounds because both the trainer’s and owner’s vets had signed off on the treatments described as routine. The treatments did not come within the gamut of the major naughty of not reporting directly to stewards a horse’s illness, injury or treatment which might affect its performance.
This exchange between Chief Steward Ray Murrihy puts the issue into perspective.
Waterhouse:  ‘‘We never tried to hide anything,”.
Murrihy: ‘‘I’m not suggesting you did, but it’s important those records are accurate.’’
Translate that into the trainer awaits a hefty fine – hefty by you or my standards, not so much by those of the cashed-up Waterhouse clan. As with all matters horse racing, some people were tipped off. Before the inquiry a few reporters said Waterhouse would be fined. The rest of us could not see why. Now we know.
Mother and son both accused Singleton of being drunk when he accosted the trainer before t.he race. The owner said he had had only three beers. An unkinder remark from Gai Waterhouse was that Singleton had so unsettled More Joyous jockey Nash Rawiller that he rode a bad race. This was really turning the affair on its head. When Singleton approached Waterhouse she was discussing riding tactics with Rawiller. We all saw on television that the jockey looked like he was praying the earth would open up so he could hide in a hole
But the trainer was on shaky ground when she said Rawiller had a bad ride as he gave More Joyous the run of the race behind the leader. The alternative tactic of challenging the front runner Rain Affair could only have ended in the eventual winner All Too Hard winning more easily. Singleton said Rawiller had a great ride and I think most of the racing crowd would agree.
Singleton seemed to have mellowed at  the inquiry, admitting to bookmaker Tom Waterhouse Johns had told him he planned to back More Joyous. Yet Singo stuck with the unravelling story that Johns said on the Saturday of the race “the horse is off”.
“It’s his favourite expression … (he meant) it’s not going to win,” Singleton said. John’s favourite expression, doesn’t that suggest it was a throwaway line, apparently first offered by the ex-footballer over many beers at a footy game on Friday night.
Johns had recanted but Singleton made light of that “I thought someone’s been eating the dictionary or someone at Channel Nine has been improving his  vocabulary.”  To be fair to Johns he does like to introduce a casual big word into his football commentary and sometimes he gets the meaning right.
You can’t help but feeling chief steward Murrihy is enjoying himself at this inquiry. He asked Singo why he had not brought his concerns to the stewards.
“All I had was hearsay from an ex-jockey and a famous footballer,”Singleton replied. Kaching! That’s the sound of the steward’s cash register accepting a substantial fine from the racehorse owner.
Murrihy even managed to top master of the one-liner, Singo. For the first time, stewards exercised new-found powers to access telephone calls of the witnesses. “They do provide an interesting matrix,” Murrihy said. Perhaps he was referring to The Matrix movies. They were certainly interesting but ultimately impenetrable as to meaning.
Thankfully, the inquiry continues.


Always Gai and often chatty but Mum’s the word now

Gai Waterhouse clams up though the boys John Singleton Tom Waterhouse and Andrew Johns have their say
Gai Waterhouse was an actor but she was not in this film.
Angelica Huston and John Cusack played Mother and Son 
in this one. 
The young woman on the right was not one of John Singleton’s six wives.

LEADING Australian racehorse trainer Gai Waterhouse has been the darling of television media for the past two decades. Put a camera in front of Mrs Waterhouse before a big race meeting, you know you are going to get big smiles and unbridled optimism that one of her horses will win the big. But not this week. Gai Waterhouse has clammed up.
In a double whammy of gloom for the television mob, racing stewards have refused to open up to the cameras Monday’s inquiry into the performance  of millionaire mare More Joyous, trained by Waterhouse until huffed-up owner sacked her – the trainer not the horse.
Stewards opened an inquiry into the poor performance of More Joyous finished second last in Saturday’s All Aged Stakes at Randwick racecourse.
But even before the race, an irate Singleton approached an obviously peeved Waterhouse who tried to ignore Singo’s accusation the trainer’s bookmaker son Tom had told three people More Joyous was crook and could not win. Singo later said one of the three was former rugby league champion Andrew Johns.
Tom Waterhouse went to social media to say Singo was mistaken and he was considering suing him. Much older Singo repeated his accusations to old media.
Some might have thought the loquacious Gai would come out swinging in defence of her son. But Mum’s the word.
This is a pity. Players in the drama, radio-station owner Singleton and Andrew Johns, are portrayed in the media as lovable larrikins. But Gai Waterhouse is the most interesting player in this comedy thriller.
Gai Waterhouse, 58, is the daughter of all-conquering Randwick racehorse trainer T.J. (Tommy) Smith. She took up modelling and acting, appearing in the Australian soap opera The Young Doctors. As the young and the restless did in those still-swinging seventies, she moved to London and appeared in the Doctor Who story The Invasion of Time.
Gai figured the odds of a successful career in acting and returned to Australia where she worked in her father’s stable for 15 years.
Her blog sums up those years and what came next:
After a 15-year apprenticeship with her father, the legendary TJ Smith, and a prolonged battle with officialdom, Gai was granted her licence to train thoroughbreds in January 1992.”
She does not expand on the prolonged battle with officialdom, but some sense of injustice, if not gender bias, seems implied.
It was a case of Gai being punished for the sins of the husband and his father. Hubby Robbie Waterhouse and Father-in-law Bill, both bookmakers, had their licences pulled in 1984 for “prior knowledge” of the Fine Cotton ring-in.
Perhaps it was in the genes .and Waterhouse has been a leading trainer for most of the past 30 years.
Gai Waterhouse has not said a direct word about the subjects of Monday’s inquiry. Television cameras were on the pair when Singleton gave her a huge verbal serve before Saturday’s big race. She appeared to not return a word to him.
She is reported to have had a phone conversation with son Tom, after the races.
It seems to have gone something like this.
Gai: “What did you tell people about More Joyous?”
Tom: “Nothing, I told them nothing, Mum.”
Gai: “Okay.”
End of conversation.
She was a guest speaker at the Warrnambool race meeting on Tuesday but she ignored questions on the brouhaha.
Of course, what the former actor did say has been interpreted as if they were Shakespearean references to the affair. “Put your head down, keep your bum up, keep your mouth shut and that’s the key to success,” Waterhouse said.
She also said Tom, as she had done, just wanted to please his father. Wow, was this a reference to the stoush as a tragic challenge to the Smith and Waterhouse dynasties. Well, we all know Singo/ Macbeth/ Cassius/ Iago mainly wants to please himself. In the past he has largely succeeded. Maybe not this time.

Gai Waterhouse have had a great personal and professional relationship for 25 years. They have been seen together at many a garden party…

Speak hastily and regret leisurely

Andrew Johns Tom Waterhouse John Singleton Gai Waterhouse:
The stars shine not too bright
Andrew Johns: “Matey, have I said too much?”

The Great Gatsby is the latest film from Aussie director Baz Luhrmann. He could follow up with The Great Gai, an epic saga of the horseracing feud of the Waterhouses and owner John Singleton.
One moral lesson from the tale is we all need to show more respect for words, or, in Rastafarian terminology, The Word, which is Holy.

In my last post I asked whether bookmaker Tom Waterhouse, son of The Great Gai, was loose with his words when he said he backed his Mum’s horse, More Joyous. To back a horse usually means putting money on it. Bookmakers get to drive Maseratis by taking bets on racehorses not by making them.
I surmised in my latest blog. Tom Waterhouse may have meant he offered generous odds about More Joyous’s main opponent All Too Hard which duly won the All Aged Stakes at Randwick racecourse on Saturday. As I wrote then, that is not the same as backing More Joyous.
It is not only Tom Waterhouse who needs to .more precise with words.
Owner of More Joyous John Singleton has said he took all his horses from trainer The Great Gai because three of his mates told him Tom Waterhouse had told them More Joyous could not win. Singleton implied The Great Gai had told her son as much.
So far, only retired jockey Allan “Robbo” Robinson has put up his hand for contacting Singleton.
But Robinson received his information, second, third or fourth hand, not from Tom Waterhouse himself.
Rugby league, the main football code in Australia, is at the centre of the timeline of the “who-said what to whom”. Rugby league players, coaches and supporters have long been known as gamblers. In the late 1960s and early 1970s it was rumoured that half the illegal SP gambling on racehorses in Sydney was owned by a rugby league coach. The rumour mill said a former Premier (state leader) of New South Wales controlled the other half.
Former rugby league champion player Andrew “Joey” Johns commentates for the Channel 9 television network on which Tom Singleton heavily advertises his sports and racing bookmaking.
On Thursday afternoon when Channel 9 was broadcasting a game, Johns had a quick conversation with Waterhouse at the match. 
On television a few days later, Johns said Waterhouse had told him More Joyous was “crook” an Australian expression meaning “ill”. Johns later said it was a poor choice of words and I believe him. Joey is a witty exponent of Australian vernacular but he is no latter day Shakespeare.
This is what I believe is a fair recreation of the brief conversation between the two last Thursday.
Johns: “G’dday, Tom. Whaddya like for Randwick on Saturday.” Joey’s a punter and he wants to back a winner.
Waterhouse is a bookmaker. He wants to see favourites beaten. “What I don’t like, Joey, are It’s A Dundeel. More Joyous and All Too Hard.” 
Bagman Waterhouse is yet to concede he bagged More Joyous on Thursday. But that does not matter. He could have developed a whirlwind romance with the prospects of his mother’s mare by Saturday.
Whatever Waterhouse said to Johns, the ex-footballer repeated a version of it to someone in a crowded room at the next night’s football match. Jockey Robinson, who was in the room, rang Singo on Saturday morning to tell him about it.
So no one is yet to substantiate Singleton’s version that he heard from one person, let alone three people, that Waterhouse had said More Joyous could not win.
Waterhouse spoke in his paid ad on television after the football on Friday night. He said he thought the long odds-on favourite It’s A Dundeel was not a good thing. He was proven right as it was beaten the next day. He said he thought All Too Hard was a good risk. He was proven wrong. He was ambivalent on More Joyous. He said it was a good chance but he thought the third favourite Epaulette might win.  
That television tape is on the public record and Waterhouse seems pretty safe from accusations of wrong- doing at Monday’s racing stewards’ inquiry
Joey Johns is lamenting his wrong use of words and I am waiting Waterhouse’s interpretation of backing More Joyous.
Trainer The Great Gai has said nothing publicly on the matter. Perhaps the Matriarch is the wisest of all.
And I get to play one of the greatest Australian songs of all time. I could barely be more joyous.