Gai brings winning ways to Toowoomba's Weetwood
HORSE trainer Gai Waterhouse brought her winning ways to Toowoomba today as her horse romped home to win the Toowoomba Cup.
She excitedly cheered home Pornichet as it won easily.
Asked what she thought of Toowoomba after the race, Gai Waterhouse said in jest, "I like it a lot more now".
In its first year with metropolitan status, this year's Weetwood featured Gai Waterhouse and My Kitchen Rules stars Robert and Lyndzey Murphy.
The sun came out just in time to make it a wonderful day at the track, Toowoomba Turf Club CEO Blair Odgers said.
"The racing has been outstanding and we couldn't have asked for a better performance from the track."
He said the rain over the last two days had an impact on numbers through the gates, with pre-sale bookings coming to a halt because of the wet weather.
"The crowd is a touch down from our expectations, but they are still coming through the gates," he said.
Mr Odgers said the metropolitan status and prize money alone made this year's Weetwood the biggest race-meet ever.
Metropolitan status was given to the meet because Brisbane is not racing this weekend, so a number of Brisbane trainers attended this year's Weetwood.
That meant far bigger exposure on a national level for the Toowoomba meet and more prize money.
"We were planning for the biggest off the track race-meeting but the weather has hit that," Mr Odgers said.
"But the entertainment and the support of Gai Waterhouse and the My Kitchen Rules stars have made this really entertaining for those who have come along for the off the track."
Mr Odgers said Weetwood had been central to the Toowoomba community for 125 years.
"The equine and horse industry is such a pivotal part of the Darling Downs.
"Local trainers want to win this race more than any other race.
"Let's hope the tradition can continue for another 125 years."