Adman John Singleton races to war with trainer Gai Waterhouse and son Tom
CONVERSATION around water-coolers today is not about television talent show The Voice; it is about a racehorse owner spitting the dummy over his millionaire mare More Joyousfinishing unplaced.
The poor performance has turned disappointment into embittered keyhole accusations of collusion befitting Mafia Dons.
Owner John Singleton says his trainer Gai Waterhouse has a conflict of interest because son Tom is a bookmaker. Singleton removed his seven racehorses from her stable.
Gai Waterhouse is a wealthy Australian racehorse trainer, the daughter of legendary trainer Tom Smith.
She married into the family of legendary bookmakers the Waterhouses and her son Tom is a rich turf accountant.
Racehorse breeder and owner John Singleton has heaps of dough, made from advertising and radio stations.
Singo said he was about to pop $100, 000 on More Joyous when three of his mates told him Tom Waterhouse told them the mare was crook and could not win.
The ad man has been in business most of his life and must have known he was calling foul, illegal foul, insider trading.
Tom Waterhouse lawyered up and threatened defamation action against Singo. The writ is yet to be filed.
The racing stewards have called an inquiry for Monday, May 6. Their previous generation of stewards pulled the bookmaker’s licence of Gai’s husband, Tom’s father Robbie for the best part of a decade.
But that was in the days when bookies bet from racetracks. Tom is an internet bookie and whether the stewards can pull his licence is in doubt. Singleton as a registered owner is more clearly prone to the wrath of stewards.
My betting is Singo will not be able to substantiate his allegations.
The media identified two of his three mates who got the drum from Tom Waterhouse as former champion jockey Malcolm Johnson and former champion rugby league player Andrew Johns. Both have denied saying that to Singo.
Even if they did, it is hearsay on Singleton’s part. If Tom Waterhouse persists in the defamation action, which I do not think he will, I rate Singleton as a million to one on defending the writ.
The question of insider trading is tricky.
Unlike other sports, gambling has been integral to horse racing for centuries.
Britain’s Queen Anne established the public racecourse Royal Ascot in 1711. Shortly after bookmakers plied their trade.
The first official bookmaker Harry Ogden, opened his business in the 1790s.
Bookmakers take up to 20% from the pool before a race begins. Yet astute punters have always overcome that disadvantage and they will continue to do so. They get the “tips”, the “good oil”. the “drum”, emanating from racehorse stables.
Insider trading can be defined as profiting from private information not available to the general public. It is the grease of successful gambling.
I am not suggesting that Gai Waterhouse provided inside information. But they must discuss horses and the son could make of it what he would.
There have been some crook laws in our time but you cannot legislate a bookmaker should not have a licence because his mum is a trainer.
You cannot help but think Singo has shot off a the mouth and a lot of people will be munching on an distasteful can of worms.