Japanese horses split viewpoints
GAI Waterhouse had already begun stocking her stable with Japanese-bred horses long before they won this year’s Caulfield Cup and Cox Plate.
But peers of the 135-time Group 1 winner are not as convinced about Japanese runners taking over the Spring Carnival, confident their own horses can still contend.
Waterhouse has Japanesebred gelding Hush Writer still vying for a start in the Melbourne Cup — entered in Saturday’s Lexus Hotham Handicap (2600m), which carried a golden ticket into Tuesday’s race.
Another Japanese horse in Waterhouse’s stable, Wolfe, ran 13th in the Caulfield Cup.
“We bought five stayers in Japan … they are better stayers than anywhere in the world, and we’re just catching on,” Waterhouse said yesterday.
“From the minute they are born there they are put into work and they never stop.
“Then when you buy them and they go in to training, they work every day.
“After the Cox Plate, that horse, by the time it got back in, it wasn’t even blowing. They are that fit.”
But trainer Chris Waller, who won four Cox Plates in a row with Winx and trained a record four Group 1 winners on a single day on October 5, wasn’t convinced the Japanese training methods were better.
“Our training methods weren’t bad the last four or five years. I don’t think we need to panic,” he said.
“It’s great to have the Japanese horses here, we all have so much respect for them. But it’s interesting to see how quickly people turn their attention for the sake of a couple of wins.
“The Japanese horses have always been very good and it’s an international flavour and that’s what we want.”