Single Gaze Eyes 2016 Cox Plate Bid

Canberra’s Nick Olive said a race like the Myer Classic would be the Plan B option for his smart filly Single Gaze who he hopes to have in prime form for a Cox Plate 2016 bid this spring.

Single Gaze

Group 1 winner Single Gaze will kick off a spring bid in Melbourne’s Let’s Elope Stakes 2016 at Flemington. Photo: Steve Hart.

The daughter of Not A Single Doubt has won three of her 14 starts to date, her stellar autumn prep headlined by a Rosehill win in the Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) in late March.

Things went amiss for the rising four-year-old last start on April 9 at Randwick however when she fell and lost hoop Kathy O’Hara during the running of the Group 1 ATC Oaks (2400m), subsequently won by Sofia Rosa.

Olive said Single Gaze had come through the ATC Oaks drama without any major issues and everything was on track for her to return with a hit-out in August followed by a first-up run in the $200,000 Group 2 Let’s Elope Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on September 10.

“She’s going fabulous; gives us a really good feel; she’s sound and thriving,” Olive told Racing and Sports this week.

“She’s come on, improved and is feeling stronger.”

From there plans are to run second-up in the $200,000 Group 2 Stocks Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley on September 30, where Olive hopes to bring her back the following month for a run in Australasia’s weight-for-age championship.

He confirmed the ultimate Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival goal for his classy youngster was an October 22 run at the Valley in the $3 million Group 1 W.S. Cox Plate (2040m).

Olive, who is yet to have a Cox Plate runner, also named the new-look Group 1 Emirates Stakes (2000m) – formerly the Mackinnon Stakes run a week early – at Flemington on the first Saturday of November as another possible spring weight-for-age target.

The trainer does have a back-up option however if Single Gaze isn’t showing she is up to a Cox Plate campaign with the $500,000 Group 1 Myer Classic (1600m) for fillies and mares run on Victoria Derby Day, October 29.

“There are other races like the Group 1 Myer Classic, and if she doesn’t show she’s up to Group 1 mares — there are still a lot of alternatives for her,” Olive said, also confirming the rebooking of O’Hara.

Last year’s Cox Plate winner was Chris Waller’s record-breaking four-year-old mare Winx who is the dominant early favourite in pre-nomination betting at to take it out again this season.

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