Tue, May 14, 9:19pm by Kevin Pitstock
Gai Waterhouse, the trainer in the More Joyous horse racing scandal, has been charged by racing officials in New South Wales. The charges are failure to report a horse’s condition to race stewards and failure to keep records of treatments. The trainer has pled not guilty to both charges.
In testimony, it was claimed Gai Waterhouse noticed heat in the neck of More Joyous. This heat was treated with an antibiotic and anti-inflammatory. Gai Waterhouse believed the treatments were not serious enough to warrant a mention to officials. The horse’s owner, John Singleton, also was not informed.
In his testimony before NSW Racing stewards, Andrew Johns stated several times he never received information that More Joyous was injured. Johns claimed Tom Waterhouse told him there were three horses he didn’t like: More Joyous, All Too Hard, and It’s a Dundeel. Johns later reiterated no inside knowledge was offered and mentioned he had bet on More Joyous, despite the advice.
Johns claimed to have been given four or five tips over the past year by Tom Waterhouse, but none of these tips worked out well for him. Thus he chose to go against the bookmaker’s advice. “Tom spoke about racing stats, and that’s when I zoned out and I didn’t really listen. That was the conversation.”
Andrew Johns went on to say he didn’t know how John Singleton got the information the horse was injured, but he was not the one to supply that information. He claims he told brothel owner Eddie Hayson what Waterhouse told him, but nothing more. Johns couldn’t remember the specific conversation with Hayson, saying he had drank 4 to 6 beers by that time.
When he went before the stewards, Eddie Hayson said, “What came from Andrew Johns was very, very negative.” To his knowledge, the treatments took place all week leading up to the race. He suggested that rumours of such treatments are bound to get around, once treatments begin. Hayson went on to claim that two different sources had told him about the More Joyous treaments.
Some of the most shocking testimony was that one of the informants, according to the brothel owner, had ties to the Gai Waterhouse stables. He did not want to state for the public record the names of his two sources, but offered to write them down on a piece of paper for the stewards. “Everybody knew the horse couldn’t win except poor Singo,” said Hayson, referring to John Singleton.
Meanwhile, More Joyous owner John Singleton has been charged with “conduct prejudicial to the image, or interests, or welfare of racing”. John Singleton pled guilty to the charge and paid a $15,000 fine. Singleton pointed out this was his first stewards inquiry in his 40 years as an owner in horse racing.
Singleton has been criticized for his comments following the All Ages Stakes back on April 27th, which touched off the racing scandal. More Joyous finished 6th in the All Aged Stakes, which was the first finish below 2nd place in the mare’s storied career. John Singleton spoke off the cuff about an undisclosed health issue which might have led to the poor showing. This not only appeared to be criticism of his long-time horse trainer, but also opened the door to charges of a cover-up by Gai Waterhouse. Single said, “In hindsight, I wish I hadn’t said anything.”
Ex-jockey Allan Robinson claimed to have been shocked at the evidence given at the hearings and later asked to provide more evidence, in order to set the record straight. He wanted Hayson and Johns present for his further testimony, but was denied the request to give more information by Ray Murrihy, the NSW head steward. Murrihy said, “Racing NSW is not about pandering to people who want to dictate the terms.”
Tom Waterhouse, famous bookmaker and son of Gai Waterhouse, was cleared of any wrongdoing in the More Joyous affair by the NSW stewards. Murrihy warned Tom Waterhouse to avoid using his mother’s name to promote his own business and said, “You must not get too close to the bone in using the Waterhouse name.”
Just a couple of days ago, Tom Waterhouse received a formal request to appear before a parliamentary committee looking into the NRL broadcast controversy on Nine Network. Being cleared of wrongdoing in this event may be some relief, though it has no bearing on the Nine Network inquiries.
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