Fat Al sets up Group 1 double for Waterhouse
Report: Australia, Saturday
Randwick: Epsom Hcap (Group 1) 1m, turf, 3yo+
GAI Waterhouse paid tribute to her late father TJ Smith after equalling his record of seven Epsom Handicaps with all-the-way winner Fat Al, setting up a Group 1 double for his trainer and jockey Tommy Berry.
The famous Randwick mile held on the racecourse which was Waterhouse's childhood playground, was held in gloomy conditions on 'Super Saturday' but nothing could dim the smile on the trainer's face.
"It's mind-boggling," Waterhouse said about equalling her father's record, something she is getting used to.
"You never think you are going to do it. If it wasn't for Dad I wouldn't be doing what I'm doing."
Among Fat Al's owners are Waterhouse's daughter Kate and her husband Luke Ricketson who were on hand to see Berry take favourite Fat Al ($4.60) to the lead out of the barriers. Under hard riding, Fat Al denied Ambidexter by a head.
Also on Saturday
Randwick: AJC Metropolitan (Group 1) 1m4f, turf, 3yo+
Just 40 minutes after they combined to claim the Epsom Handicap with Fat Al, his trainer Gai Waterhouse and jockey Tommy Berry made it a Group 1 double with former Sir Henry Cecil-trained Glencadam Gold in the Metropolitan.
Just like she did in the autumn, Waterhouse dominated the major day of the Sydney spring by snaring the two most prestigious races on the programme.
The free-striding five-year-old, unbeaten in four Australian starts, will now head to the first of the major Cups races at Caulfield on October 20 when he will strive to become the first horse since Tawqeet in 2006 to claim the Metropolitan-Caulfield Cup double.
"Wasn't it fantastic?" Waterhouse said. "He's such an exciting horse. Look out Caulfield and Melbourne Cups."
Randwick: Coolmore Flight Stakes (Group 1) 1m, turf, 3yo fillies
Bart Cummings, making his first visit to the races for the spring, brought up Group 1 win number 265 with Norzita (Hugh Bowman).
Cummings has been an absentee after undergoing nasal surgery which has affected his eyesight but not his wit.
Norzita was denied victory in the Group 2 Tea Rose Stakes two weeks ago when Longport was awarded the race on protest. "Justice has been done," Cummings said.
Randwick: Spring Champion Stakes (Group 1) 1m2f, turf, 3yo
New Zealander It's A Dundeel (Murray Baker/James McDonald) underlined his star staying qualities with a rousing Group One Spring Champion Stakes victory over the previously unbeaten Proisir.