User:Jack Clarke UOW

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Template:The Daily Telegraph

Template:Sydney Morning Herald

Waterhouse-Singleton scandal highlights deeper problems in racing

The stewards’ inquiry into the running of the All Aged Stakes at Randwick on Saturday April 27 continues next Monday, with the performance of More Joyous at the centre of the controversy.

The poor run from the seven-year-old mare has ended a 40 year friendship between Gai Waterhouse and John Singleton, as well as their professional relationship, with Singleton pulling all seven of his horses out of the Waterhouse stable.

In a game of Chinese whispers on an unprecedented level, the fallout from a harmless conversation between Tom Waterhouse and Andrew Johns about who would win at Randwick has resulted in racing dominating headlines across the country.

Waterhouse has described the affair as “a Chinese whispers … a conversation between a trumped up little jockey, a brothel owner and a football player.”

But the fallout from one of racing’s great relationships has highlighted a much deeper issue – the conflict of interest between Waterhouse as a horse trainer, and the bookmaking businesses of her husband, Robbie Waterhouse, and her son, Tom Waterhouse.

Last Monday’s inquiry focused on the health of More Joyous in the week prior to her failure at the All Aged Stakes. The mare was cleared to run despite having heat in her neck on Wednesday, which was treated with antibiotics on Thursday and Friday prior to the race.

The medication administered was not recorded in the logbook of the horse required by stewards, but vets working for both Waterhouse and Singleton agree that the horse was healthy enough to run.

Continuing next week, the inquiry will focus on betting trends related to More Joyous, with Waterhouse denying completely allegations that she has given inside information to her husband or her son regarding the health of the horse.

Even if there was no insider information shared, this saga has highlighted the controversial position the Waterhouse family finds themselves in.

Waterhouse is one of the most successful and influential horse trainers in Australia. For three decades her family has been involved in the sport, with the current allegations unprecedented in Australian racing.

Even if the Waterhouse family is cleared of any wrongdoing, they must consider a restructure of their businesses to avoid controversy such as this in the future. Horse racing has enough controversy and public perception of race fixing and other illegality, and it is paramount that the integrity of the Waterhouse family is maintained.

University of Wollongong student contributor.

Jack Clarke UOWUniversity of Wollongong student

  • Year: 2013
  • Semester: Autumn
  • Course: Bachelor of Communication and Media Studies/Bachelor of Laws
  • Email: Email via Wikinews