Gai Waterhouse is many things; Hall of Fame Trainer, the Queen of Australian Racing and so on. But to the best of our knowledge, she is NOT a theoretical physicist. However one of Gai’s favourite ways to describe a horse that has improved, the famous ‘quantum leap’ is a term devised by theoretical physicists and it just so happens that Gai, when she uses this term, uses it perfectly in regards to its original meaning. Professor Gai Waterhouse of Tulloch Lodge University perhaps??? Consider…
Atoms are everything. If you had a space the size of a regular casino dice, there would be three billion billion atoms in this little space. So multiply a billion by a billion then by three! Now think how many dice it would take to fill your body or to block out the view of the Harbour Bridge. The numbers are not understandable in common logic. Each atom if high school physics classes indeed reigned true, contains three particles – a proton, an electron and a neutron. The proton and the neutron are in the nucleus of the atom while the electron jumps around orbits outside the nucleus. Remember we are just talking about one of the three billion billion atoms in our one dice. One of the humble authors’ favourite memories of physics classes back in the 90s, was learning that everyone of us, would at least have some atoms in our body that everyone who has ever died also had in them! So we are all part Shakespeare, and all part Napoleon!
We have all seen the footage of an atom and the electron jumping from point a to point b to point c and beyond in no pattern whatsoever with no evidence of how it got from one point to another. The electrons journey is used on screen savers on computers throughout the world for example. For years the greatest minds of the 20th century could not understand how the electron got from one place in the orbit of an atom to another without showing how it got there. Eventually the great minds of the 1900s – Einstein, Rutherford and so on, labelled the electrons ability to move throughout the orbit of an atom as the ‘quantum leap.’
When a horse has improved out of sight or better than its stablemates without doing anything different, Gai often in the media describes the horse as having taken ’the quantum leap.’ The electron goes from one place to another without visiting the space between. Gai can get a horse to go from being a blob to flying without visiting the space in between! And Gai knows exactly when to use the ‘quantum leap’ term. One example come via the great colt Pierro. Gai mentioned that Pierro had taken the ‘quantum leap’ between his first trial which was just ok and his Breeders’ Plate win which was exceptional. Pierro went from being a nice colt to racing like a champion without visiting the space in between. A true quantum leap.
If you listen to Gai carefully, she uses the phrase ‘made the quantum leap’ only when it is essentially true in regards to the actual meaning of the term! Make sense? Gai never misses. When she says a horse has made a quantum leap it has improved out of sight and generally wins. So listen carefully over the spring and when you hear this famous term coming from the Lady Trainer it might be time to have a bet!
Good luck and stay tuned.