As the curtain came down on the Sydney Autumn Carnival with the running of four Group 1 races, namely the Sydney Cup, Champagne Stakes, Queen Elizabeth Stakes and the All Aged Stakes, it was apparent that another odds-on favourite from the Gai Waterhouse yard had gone down.

Manhattan Rain jumped from the barriers as the $1.80 favourite after the “smarties” had moved in on-course late in betting and hammered the “good thing” in from the $2.20 quote that was freely offered on course 20 minutes before the jump.

The defeat of Manhattan Rain was just one of a long line of odds-on favourites from Gai Waterhouse’s stables recently. You may recall More Joyous looking like she’d be better suited coming out of chute 6 at Mt Isa, at their annual rodeo, rather than the barriers at Rosehill in the Silver Slipper on February 28, when she firmed from $1.40 into $1.35. Then there was Theseo going over at $1.80 (firming up nicely from $2.10) in the Australian Cup at Flemington on March 7.

However, the bucking episode of More Joyous, or the defeat of both Theseo and Manhattan Rain at $1.80, wouldn’t be all bad news in the Waterhouse household, as whilst Gai Waterhouse may not have been impressed with her charges all getting rolled, her husband and son are big bookmakers so it is fair to assume they’d have been delighted by the race outcomes, as they are in the business of laying favourites – whether they come from the family stable, or from some other trainer’s yard.

It seems punters backing short priced horses from the Gai Waterhouse yard are on a one way ticket to the poorhouse, if the stable’s results of short priced runners, at metropolitan meetings in Sydney – from New Year’s Day 2009 up to and including the final meeting of the Sydney Autumn Carnival, are indicative of what will happen over a full calendar year.

In the following researched results, I have listed every Sydney metropolitan runner that has represented the Gai Waterhouse stable that started $3 (2/1 inclusive) or shorter. In reverse date order from April 25, inclusive to January 1 inclusive, the list of horses with their official starting prices reads:


*Failed to Finish
Horse Price       
25/4/09 Manhattan Rain         
$1.80 3rd
22/4/09 Eye of Brahma $2.60 3rd
11/4/09 Above Perfection $2.20 2nd
4/4/09 Faulconbridge $2.30 4th
1/4/09 Merensky Reef $1.70 1st
21/3/09 More Joyous $2.15 1st
21/3/09 Theseo $2.15 1st
14/3/09 Manhattan Rain $2.60 1st
11/3/09 New Day Rising $1.65 1st
7/3/09 Tuesday Joy $1.90 1st
3/3/09 Hashasan $1.50 2nd
28/2/09 Rabbuka $2.80 1st
28/2/09 More Joyous $1.35 FTF*
28/2/09 Ashikaga $1.70 1st
24/2/09 Regimental Hero $2.10 5th
21/2/09 Tuesday Joy $2.50 1st
Missonet $2.50 2nd
Manhattan Rain $2.35 2nd
Rabbuka $1.65 7th
Buzzy Henry $2.70 2nd
Troubleshooter $2.50 2nd
Miss Exxi $2.10 2nd
Manhattan Rain $1.85 2nd
Rock Kingdom $2.10 1st
Common Objective $2.70 3rd
Above Perfection $2.70 3rd
Ambassador $2.30 3rd
More Joyous $1.35 1st
Boca Chita $1.45 5th

So in the year-to-date in this test period, the Gai Waterhouse stable has been represented by 30 horses on Sydney metropolitan tracks; from that have been returned at an S/P of 2/1 ($3) inclusive or less. Of those 30 horses, 11 (or 36.66 per cent) have won.

Of these 30 horses, 12 have run as odds-on favourite and only five of those 12 (41.66 per cent) have won.  Taking all those statistics one step further, if you were a “favourite punter” and backed every short priced Gai Waterhouse runner in the above sampled list that ran 2/1 ($3) inclusive, or shorter, you would outlay $300 if you had $10 a win on each of them ($10 x 30 horses) and you’d get $226 back, which includes your initial stake, so based on each runner’s official starting price, you’d lose just on a quarter of your stake – 24.67 per cent to be exact.

If you only backed “tomato sauce” runners, that is the 12 odds-on favourites, you’d outlay $120 (10 x 12 horses) if you were betting a level stake of say $10 a win, but you’d only get a return of $83, based on each runner’s starting price, so you’d lose 30.83 per cent of your stake via implementing that betting strategy.

So the moral here, based on historic evidence in the calendar year-to-date, is to avoid backing horses from the Gai Waterhouse yard that start at 2-1 ($3) inclusive or shorter.

By Phil Purser