The training talents of Gai Waterhouse have extended to jumps racing with Valediction winning a maiden hurdle at Warrnambool.
Valediction was Waterhouse’s first runner in a jumps race and after settling behind the lead in Thursday’s 3226m event, the odds-on favourite’s superior flat ability shone through in the run home and he won by a length from Tambo.
“He did everything bang on and it was really good. I think Gai will be really happy with that,” stable representative Roger Elliott told TVN.
Waterhouse was hoping to have a jumper Warrnambool’s famous May carnival last year but it did not eventuate.
This year, however, the trainer has three horses in contention with Group One winner Glencadam Gold and Tenby Lady both winning hurdle trials at Sandown on Monday.
“We’re going to have a bit of fun,” Elliott said.
Valediction was ridden by Irishman Patrick Flood who believes there is a lot of upside to the six-year-old gelding heading further into the jumps season in Victoria.
Flood, who has won an Irish Grand National, relocated to Australia but found it hard to get opportunities in Victoria last season and Thursday’s win was a breakthrough.
He followed it up with a second win on the day aboard Backburn in the steeplechase.