The matriarch of the Waterhouse racing and betting dynasty has died surrounded by her famous family at the age of 93.
Suzanne Waterhouse – widow of Bill, mother of Robbie, mother-in-law of Gai, grandmother of Tom and Kate – died in hospital after suffering a series of heart attacks last week
“Sadly we have lost the matriarch of the family, my mother Suzie Waterhouse,” Robbie wrote on social media on Sunday. “She died peacefully with her family around her.”
Bookmaker Robbie referred to his wife Gai and his sister’s husband Louise, but did not name his ex-brother David in the announcement.
“She was loved by all, her children, Gai and Gunther, her grandchildren and especially her five great-grandchildren,” Robbie wrote. “She lived her 93 years fully and independently.”
The matriarch of the Waterhouse racing and betting dynasty has died aged 93. Suzanne Waterhouse is pictured at her husband Bill’s funeral in 2019 with her daughter Louise.
Suzanne Waterhouse’s bookie son Robbie posted examples of his mother’s great sense of humor after announcing her death on social media
Suzanne had a major heart attack last Thursday evening, followed by a series of smaller attacks. Robbie arrived at the hospital around 7am on Friday.
“Mom told the nurses, ‘I’m obviously dying – Rob never visited me before his life’s work!” he wrote.
In another heartfelt message, Robbie highlighted her mother’s great sense of humor as she revealed details of her final hours.
“They have decided, with our permission, to administer a painkiller which may hasten death,” he wrote.
“Mom asked what it was, I told her. She said, pointing at me: “Et tu Brute”, is what Shakespeare makes Caesar say to his best (friend) Brutus when he was stabbed.
“Mom laughed. What a star.
Suzanne Waterhouse was the mother of bookmaker Robbie Waterhouse (right), stepmother of horse trainer Gai Waterhouse (left) and grandmother of Tom and Kate Waterhouse.
Siblings Tom and Kate Waterhouse are pictured at Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne
Suzanne’s husband ‘Big Bill’ Waterhouse – once the world’s biggest bookie – died aged 97 in November 2019 after 65 years of marriage.
The couple had been married twice. Although he was divorced, Bill kept Yuko Fujita company and maintained a relationship with her after he married Suzanne for the second time.
Bill revealed that he was still seeing Yuko twice a week in 2009 when his autobiography What Are the Odds? has been freed.
Asked at the book launch about Bill’s affairs with the other woman, Suzanne replied, “Well, that’s the truth, isn’t it?” I’ve never seen him lie to me in his life.
Bill and Suzanne’s children, Robbie and David, both followed in their father’s footsteps as bookmakers, as did Robbie and Gai’s son Tom. Louise also became involved in the family business.
Tom’s sister Kate has worked as a model and journalist and is married to retired NRL star Luke Ricketson.
Gai, who is one of Australia’s leading racehorse trainers, is the daughter of the late Tommy Smith, another legendary trainer.
David, separated from the family for 30 years, is an options trader.
Bill and Robbie were stripped of their bookmaker’s license and warned about racetracks when it turned out they had had prior knowledge of Fine Cotton’s ring-in.
Fine Cotton was replaced by the more successful Bold Personality at a race at Brisbane’s Eagle Farm in August 1984.
Bold Personality won the race as Fine Cotton, but the fraud was exposed in part because of his painted legs and poorly dyed coat.
At the launch of her husband’s book, Suzanne said the Fine Cotton case had hurt the family deeply, but there was still room for jokes.
“If we had had anything to do with it, we would have painted the horse better,” she told a Sydney Morning Herald reporter.
Bill and Robbie maintained their innocence in the ring, and their licenses were eventually reinstated.