The field for the 2018 Group 1 $2m Schweppes Sydney Cup (3200m) at Randwick on Saturday has been reduced to eighteen runners following the scratching of Group 1 winning mare Single Gaze.
The early scratching of the Lindsay Park trained Fanatic on Tuesday allowed the first emergency Doukhan to gain a start in the final twenty horse Sydney Cup field but the additional scratchings of Gallic Chieftain and Single Gaze has left only eighteen runner to tough out the 3200m journey on day two of The Championships.
Trainer Nick Oliver notified Racing New South Wales stewards that Single Gaze didn’t please him in her final gallop and subsequent blood tests were also below par.
The stewards released the following statement advising of the scratching of Single Gaze who will now be retired and head to stud.
“Trainer Nick Olive has advised Racing NSW Stewards that he has not been satisfied with the condition of Single Gaze since the completion of track work on Tuesday morning, particularly as she has not eaten up. A blood sample taken from the mare has revealed a lower than usual red blood cell count and accordingly she has been withdrawn from Saturday’s Schweppes Sydney Cup.”
Kathy O’Hara has been a regular partner for Single Gaze for most of her thirty-three start career and steered the five year old mare to all of her five wins which include a Group 1 victory in the 2016 $500,000 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill.
O’Hara has developed a special association with Single Gaze and tweeted that she will miss the brave mare very much.
“To my favourite racehorse in the whole world, you have been amazing, I will miss you terribly. Thanks for the memories Single Gaze. Happy retirement.” O’Hara tweeted.
Single Gaze’s last win was the Group 2 $200,000 P J O’Shea Stakes (2200m) at Doomben during the 2017 Brisbane Winter Carnival but the mare had been in fine form during the 2018 Autumn Carnival without producing a win, but found the runner’s up stall on three out of five outings.
The James Cummings trained Hartnell beat the mare by a nose when first up in the Group 1 $500,000 Ladbrokes C.F. Orr Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield and she was in the runner’s up stall at her next start in the Group 2 $200,000 Carlton Draught Peter Young Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield.
The Not A Single Doubt mare was beaten less than two lengths when fifth to Harlem in the Group 1 $1.5m Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington before running second again to Gailo Chop in the Group 1 $700,000 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill.
A fifth behind Almandin in the Group 1 $1.5m Kia Tancred Stakes (2400m) at Rosehill two weeks ago will go down as Single Gaze’s final race track appearance.
Single Gaze has earned just over $2,360,000 for five wins, nine seconds and three thirds from thirty-three race starts.
Single Gaze was marked around a $15 chance when she was withdrawn from the Sydney Cup and with her out of the betting, the Liam Howley trained Almandin is the $3.90 favourite with Ladbrokes.com.au ahead of Sir Charles Road at $6.50 and Aloft at $7.