Each spring for the last 30 or so years Gai Waterhouse has made a pilgrimage - a tour of stud farms up and down the east coast, a trip she not only looks forward to and thoroughly enjoys, but one which she considers vital.
Pierro, Sebring, Vancouver and Dance Hero (Danzero) are just some of the Group 1 stable stars Waterhouse has spied during these journeys and she is confident that she has found another good horse or two during her current sojourn.
“The sales are going to be very strong,” she enthused. “I have seen some absolutely lovely horses.
“And not just in one place but right across the board, in all states.”
Usually on the road for a month (setting off this year not long after cheering on Alligator Blood to his memorable G1 Champions Mile victory on the final day of the Flemington carnival), Waterhouse has visited Rosemont Stud and Musk Creek in Victoria and most of the major farms in Queensland and New South Wales - during which time she inspects over 700 horses...
Not only can Waterhouse get an idea about each yearling but also about a breed - seeing large numbers of horses by the same stallion within a short time frame allowing her to get an overview of the type of horse - in particular the first-season stallion - is siring.
And who of those new lads has made an impression this year?
“I really like Microphone,” she said. “They are a pretty uniform group of yearlings and I like that.”
Waterhouse has enjoyed success with this Exceed And Excel sireline - such as the 2013 G1 Golden Slipper S. heroine Overreach - and it will be interesting to see how many progeny of his son Microphone - winner of the G1 ATC Sires' Produce S. - she ends up with.
🎤 #Microphone, a Champion Two-Year-Old in an elite crop.— Darley in Australia (@DarleyAus) November 21, 2022
🏆 He defeated four G1 winners in the best edition of the G1 ATC Sires' Produce Stakes in 20 years.
His first yearlings will be at Magic Millions in 2023! pic.twitter.com/wIHvZZK0mx