Following an eye-catching third in the Magic Millions Classic at the start of the month there is now a strong chance Nick Olive’s smart filly Single Gaze will target the Black Opal Stakes 2015 this March at home in Canberra.
A winner on debut at Rosehill last November, Not A Single Doubt filly Single Gaze then went to Wyong in December when beaten under half a length finishing third to Zoutenant in the Wyong Magic Millions 2YO Classic (1100m) where she ran well from the outside barrier 12 draw in the juvenile’s sprint.
Olive then travelled the promising two-year-old up to Queensland for the Gold Coast’s $2 million Magic Millions 2YO Classic (1200m) on January 10.
There Damien Oliver took over for Kathy O’Hara and from barrier six they settled back into 12th place on the rails.
He started to improve through runners approaching the home turn before moving up to challenge the frontrunners with 200m left to travel.
Single Gaze kept finding and fought on well right to the line where she crossed one and a half lengths away third behind upset winner Le Chef, who is now in the paddock being saved for a Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival return, and runner-up Pepperano who surprised plenty as a 30-1 shot.
Olive was thrilled with the way his now $236,750 earner pulled up after the Gold Coast and travels to see her in the paddock this week.
“She went to the paddock straight after the Magic Millions,” he told Sky Sports Radio on Wednesday morning.
“I’ll go have a look at her in the next few days.”
After inspecting her he and connections will make a decision whether to bring her back into work for a shot at Canberra’s premier two-year-olds’ race, or spell her before a return later in the year.
“We’ll make a decision next week whether to get her back in and have a crack at the Black Opal in March,” he said.
The lucrative $250,000 Listed Black Opal Stakes (1200m) is a race Olive admits he’d love to win and so long as Single Gaze shows she hasn’t been extended too far yet, they’ll target the set weights plus penalties race with her looking to add some black-type to her record early on.
“It’s our premier race of the year and a race I’d dearly love to win,” Olive said of the Black Opal.
“She’s the short of horse that would be very competitive.
“We’ll make a decision in the next few days. I just want to make sure she’s alright.”
Olive is also confident that having had a brief let-up after the Magic Millions Classic won’t happen Single Gaze’s Black Opal chances should they bring her back in again, the filly having done well between her debut win with 47 days between that and the Wyong Magic Millions.
“She’s probably the sort of horse you could do that with,” he said.
“We peaked her a couple of times during her first campaign and she looked to appreciate having one or two runs then having a break then going again.”
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