Waterhouse lashes out at turf club

Gai Waterhouse has blasted Warwick Farm and the Australian Turf Club's perceived strategies with tracks.

The first group 1 meeting of the autumn was not a happy hunting ground for Waterhouse as Sweet Idea, Spurtonic, Our Desert Warrior and two-year-old Wandjina did no live up to expectations. Each featured in the stewards' report, leading to a remarkable broadside for the club and Warwick Farm, which Waterhouse says should be converted into a training centre only.

"The club is just window dressing and everyone knows it," Waterhouse said. "The power is with Racing NSW because they got the money for the grandstand [at Randwick] and should step in. On Saturday we had three wonderful tracks empty while we raced at Warwick Farm. I don't know why we race there – it is simply not up to standard. It should just be a training centre. Every time we race there is a track bias and the form doesn't stand up.

"People don't like going there, punters don't like betting there and I don't know why we race there."

Waterhouse wasn't at Warwick Farm on Saturday, preferring a trip to Flemington to watch her Melbourne Cup winner, Fiorente, win the Australian Cup.

She said the club's desire to sell Canterbury should be put on the backburner because it was Sydney's best racing surface, whereas Warwick Farm was the worst.

"If they wanted to fix it up it would mean spending millions they don't have," Waterhouse said. "They don't care about it anyway. Instead they want to sell Canterbury a track that everyone likes going to that is closer to town. It could become a Happy Valley-like track if they put some thought into it. It is like this Warwick Farm meeting is there to fill a gap in the program. It is a gap that would be better filled at Randwick, Rosehill or Canterbury."

The ATC reaffirmed that Canterbury was not for sale, even though it has applied to have the merger act changed so the track can be sold.

The ATC has to battle the perception that it doesn't make an effort when it comes to Warwick Farm. The Chipping Norton Stakes, the western Sydney track's only group 1, doesn't have a sponsor and the promotion of the meeting was limited.

Sydney's premier trainer, Chris Waller, had a winning double at Warwick Farm as Catkins won the Wiggle Stakes and Boban the Chipping Norton. He took a different view to Waterhouse.

"It is a concern when we go to race there but I might not be the right trainer to ask after winning the past four Chipping Nortons," Waller said.

"The track is an asset out in the west but needs to be promoted better."

Warwick Farm trainer Joe Pride presented Terravista to win the Liverpool City Cup and thought the track raced well.

"They got a bit wide in the straight but that happens everywhere," Pride said.

"The tracks need some work done but most tracks do. I think they need to put a bit more thought into Warwick Farm rather than concentrating on other tracks."

The carnival returns on Saturday to Randwick, which has reportedly come through the Future Music Festival without too much damage.

Waterhouse will have three runners in the feature, the Royal Randwick Guineas.

"Woodbine, Bull Point and Romantic Touch will run in the Guineas and they will all get their chance at Randwick," Waterhouse said.

"Romantic Touch has already won a group 1 beating Zoustar and is returning to that sort of form, while Bull Point and Woodbine will be out to stamp themselves as stallions by winning over the classic distance of a mile.

"Bull Point has thrived since he has come back to Sydney after starting favourite in the Futurity and he is ready to go.

"Woodbine has been looking to get this trip and will be better suited on firm going."

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