Gai Waterhouse Add Major Jumps Race to Credentials in Brierly

Jumps racing has been under attack from animal rights activists for some time, so for Gai Waterhouse, having Valediction come home the winner in the Brierly Steeplechase at Warrnambool might have represented one of the few remaining chances that the legendary trainer had to add a trophy from this disappearing code.

It could be argued that winning the steeplechase feature might pale when compared to the Melbourne and Caulfield Cups Waterhouse has claimed, or equally so when measured against the six Golden Slipper trophies, but after Valediction was unable to complete the entire 3450 m steeplechase course in last year’s Brierly, there is no doubt that Waterhouse was gratified and Valediction vindicated.

Valediction is the son of Zabeel, the multiple champion sire in Australia and New Zealand. Foaled in 2007, Valediction has just nine starts and has placed in six of those, but the Brierly was the New Zealand gelding’s first win.

It was an easy victory for Valediction in the race, even though the heavy conditions, along with 70 kg., seemed to hamper pre-race favourite Thubiaan of the U.S.

Waterhouse intends to run Valediction would next run in the Grand Annual Steeplechase, the win of which would be an even better feather for her cap.

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