Canberra trainer Nick Olive believes the stars are aligning for Single Gaze to etch her name in Doomben Cup history on Saturday.
Single Gaze is chasing her second win at the highest level following her victory in the Group 1 Vinery Stud Classic at Rosehill last year and is aiming to become only the fifth mare to win the Cup in it’s 84-year history.
Streama was the last mare to win the Doomben Cup in 2014 which followed Cinque Cento (2007), Qualeta (1943) and Cooranga (1939).
Single Gaze, who has drawn barrier 14, amazes Olive with her fighting qualities and ability to get off the canvas when she appears down and out.
It’s well documented Single Gaze’s career was at the crossroads after falling in last year’s Group 1 ATC Oaks in Sydney and she almost lost sight in one eye after being hit with a clod when placed in the Group 3 Neville Selwood at Rosehill in March.
“It took a year to get over her fall and then she copped a clod in her eye which needed to be treated aggressively by inserting a tube in it,” Oliver said.
“It was touch and go for a while and she almost lost her sight which would have finished her career.”
Olive has been training for 12 years and has around 30 horses in work at his Canberra stables.
He has narrowed down Single Gaze’s Doomben Cup dangers to one runner, Hollindale Stakes winner, It’s Somewhat.
Single Gaze registered her first win since making her comeback following the ATC Oaks fall in last month’s Listed Tails Stakes at Doomben.
The five-year-old daughter of Not A Single Doubt then produced a brilliant Doomben Cup trial when runner-up to It’s Somewhat in the Hollindale Stakes (1800m) at the Gold Coast on May 6.
“It’s Somewhat is the one to beat but I’m looking forward to taking him on over 2000 metres,” Olive said.
Olive hasn’t ruled out extending Single Gaze’s winter stay to include the Group 2 O’Shea Stakes (2200m) at Eagle Farm on June 3 before preparing for the Melbourne spring.
In any other year, Olive would like Single Gaze to chase Australia’s weight-for-age championship in the Group 1 Cox Plate at Moonee Valley in October.
“She’s never been to Melbourne but she has worked well their way of going and is a natural on the other leg,” Olive said.
“If Winx wasn’t headed for the Cox Plate we’d go that way with her but we won’t be taking Winx on and we’ll go after the Caulfield Cup.”
Single Gaze and Kathy O'Hara, picture Sportpix.com.au