Group 1 winning mare Single Gaze and jockey Kathy O’Hara will re-unite for the first time on race day in the Group 2 $200,000 Ranvet Millie Fox Stakes (1300m) at Rosehill on Saturday after parting company in an horrific fall in the 2016 Australian Oaks.
The Nick Olive trained Single Gaze was sent into the Group 1 $1m James Boag’s Premium Australian Oaks (2400m) at Randwick during last year’s ‘The Championships’ after winning the Group 1 $500,000 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill at her previous start but the Not A Single Doubt filly clipped heels on the home turn.
Single Gaze crashed heavily to the turf and while Olive said that Single Gaze escaped with minor injuries, O’Hara found herself in hospital with a punctured a lung and had to undergo surgery on her sternoclavicular joint.
O’Hara was out of the saddle for three months and Olive decided to abandon a Spring campaign for Single Haze after the mare failed to please him in the stable.
“All the vet tests were clear but I wasn’t 100 per cent happy with her,” Olive AAP.
“There was nothing obvious and we could have gone on but I think it was the right decision to miss the spring.”
Olive is now happy with Single Gaze’s condition as she prepares for the 2017 Autumn Carnival but he doesn’t expect her to figure in the major end of the prizemoney over the 1300m first up even though she has performed well in two 900m barrier trials in Canberra with O’Hara in the saddle for a win on January 20 and a second to Group 1 sprinter Fell Swoop on February 3.
“She looks fantastic now and I couldn’t be happier with her,” Olive said.
“She hasn’t taken a backward step and her trials have been good.
“Kathy rode her and she said she had improved as well so I’m looking forward to Saturday.”
“As a Group One winner she has that weight penalty and has to carry 58 (kg).”
Olive will wait until after the running of the Millie Fox Stakes to map out a plan for the rest of the Autumn Carnival but as this stage he is thinking the Group 1 $600,000 Coolmore Classic (1500m) at Rosehill on March 11 and possibly the Group 1 $3m The Star Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Randwick on April 1 could be in the pipeline.
Single Gaze has drawn the inside barrier in the thirteen horse Millie Fox Stakes field and is listed as a $12 chance with Ladbrokes.com.au.
The David Pfieffer trained Denmagic at $5.50 heads a very open betting race in front of Euro Angel at $6, Artistry at $7.50 and In Her Time, Private Secretary and Daysee Doom at $8.50.