Australian Hall of Fame racehorse trainer Gai Waterhouse is the latest high-profile figure to join the Water Hay Oats Alliance (WHOA), a group support federal legislation to prohibit the use of performance-enhancing drugs in US racing.
“Naturally, I, as a professional horseman, absolutely believe in a level playing field,” Waterhouse said.
“But, putting that aside, it is unarguable that we in drug-free Australia get more starts per horse in a career than you do in the US. The numbers are: Australia a median of 12.6; US a median of 7.4.
“Drugs cause horses to have much less career starts. There is no counter-argument. Drugs are actually unfair on owners and horses,” Waterhouse said.
“I want to add, we cope very well with the drug-free rules in Australia. It just requires horsemanship.”
Known as the “first lady of Australian racing”, Waterhouse, has been training for more than 20 years. In that time, she has amassed over 120 Group One wins and currently sits third on the all-time list for GRI winners behind her father T.J. Smith and the late Bart Cummings.
Starters from her Tulloch Lodge Stable have won the Melbourne Cup, Golden Slipper, Doncaster Handicap, Caulfield Cup, Australian Cup, Metropolitan Handicap, and Epsom Handicap among others.
Other high-profile racing industry members to join the alliance include trainers Alec and Criquette Head, Hall of Fame trainers Jonathan Sheppard and Michael Dickinson, and sports commentator Donna Brothers.