Australia’s First Lady Of Racing

Gai Waterhouse, the "First Lady" of Australian horse racing. (Courtesy photo)

By Samantha Hall

Sept. 2, 1954, the leading trainer in Australian racing, Tommy J. Smith, and his wife Valerie welcomed their brand new baby daughter Gabriel into the world. She would be known as Gai.

As a child Gai spent a lot of her time at her father’s racing stables in Sydney. After finishing school at Kincopple-Rose Bay School of the Sacred Heart, Gai attended The University of New South Wales in Sydney, and upon graduating she went on to pursue her acting and modelling career in both

Australia and England, appearing in television series such as “The Young Doctors,” “Doctor Who,” and “The Invasion of Time.”

Gai’s love for horses and racing never weakened, and after marrying her husband, bookmaker Robbie Waterhouse, she eventually came back to Sydney to begin working under her father at his Tulloch Lodge Racing Stables in Sydney. In 1992, after working for her father for 15 years, Gai was granted her trainer’s licence by the Australian Jockey Club (AJC).

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