Gai is an icon in Australian racing; one of the most successful horse trainers in this country. A 15-year apprenticeship with her legendary horse trainer father TJ Smith gave her the invaluable experience of organising and running effectively a major racing stable that now houses up to 150 horses in full work. It is one of the biggest and most successful training establishments in Australasia. Gai has an impressive list of achievements and awards; she won the 2013 Melbourne Cup with Fiorente, has been honoured with the Westpac Business Owner Award and in 2000 was named the state’s top businesswoman as the Telstra NSW Businesswoman of the Year. The 2001 Golden Slipper saw Gai win the trifecta – a feat never before achieved in this race. Gai’s hard work, energy and dedication has enabled her to capture 83 Group 1 winners, more than 290 coveted black type trophies, three NSW Premierships and four Sydney Trainer’s Premierships in a remarkably short time. In 2007 Gai joined her father as an inductee into the Australian Racing Hall of Fame.
In 2021 Gai was awarded an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) award. Ms Waterhouse was recognised for her distinguished service to the thoroughbred horse racing industry as a trainer along with her ambassadorial work in racing, particularly as a role model for women.
Gai is renowned for her stylish on-field fashion and unique personal style. She joined David Jones as a Racewear Ambassador in 2004. Her stature and elegance in racing makes her the perfect fit for David Jones. As part of this role Gai attends and host events, present the winners’ trophies of David Jones sponsored races and fulfils various fashion-related roles surrounding the racing calendar.
“She’s it. She’s racing, the allure, the glamour, the public face of racing” – Alan Jones
“This great city has three well-known icons – the Opera House, Harbour Bridge and Australia’s most successful and premier trainer Gai Waterhouse” – Premier Barry O’Farrell