The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
Nick Olive’s Group 1 winning mare Single Gaze is one of the roughie hopes in Caulfield Cup 2017 betting this weekend but her trainer is confident the high pressure race will suit.
The pace is expected to be on in this Saturday’s Group 1 $3.15 million BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) turning the mile and a half showdown into a genuine stayer’s race.
That will work for some of the 17 horses in the Caulfield Cup field and against others.
Canberra horseman Oliver believes his Not A Single Doubt mare Single Gaze falls into the former category and that the five-year-old will be well-suited to a honesty run edition of the classic.
“I think the Caulfield Cup can be a high-pressure race and she thrives on pressure,” Olive told AAP earlier in the week.
The latest Caulfield Cup odds at Ladbrokes.com.au have Single Gaze, winner of the 2016 Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) in Sydney, as a $34 chance.
Markets are led by the Irish raider Johannes Vermeer ($4.40) in barrier two along with last start Turnbull Stakes third placegetter Humidor ($8) carrying top weight for the Darren Weir stable.
Before Caulfield Cup favourites Mongolian Khan ($5 in 2015) and Jameka ($4.25 in 2016) went back-to-back for the punters, the previous seven winners all saluted at double-figures.
Only the international champ All The Good ($41 in 2008) however won at a price similar to the one Single Gaze will jump at in her bid to win at Caulfield for the first time.
Single Gaze is drawn barrier 12, a gate that hasn’t produced a single Caulfield Cup winner in over 30 years, but with five of the past eight saluting from a double-digit draw there remains hope.
The aforementioned mare Jameka won from 11 of 16 last spring and Single Gaze is one of four female gallopers looking to go back-to-back for the girls in the 2017 Caulfield Cup results.
Bonneval ($9), who remains under a cloud of doubt after pulling up lame after her Ladbrokes Stakes sixth last Saturday, is the shortest-priced of the mares in the Caulfield Cup line-up along with the Weir-trained Amelie’s Star ($9) to be ridden by Craig Williams.
Abbey Marie ($21) and Single Gaze follow, and both are also gradates out of the Group 1 Ladbrokes Stakes (2000m).
The Michael Kent-trained Redoute’s Choice five-year-old Abbey Marie was eighth behind the winner Gailo Chop, while Single Gaze finished closer in fourth under three lengths beaten carrying 57kg.
Olive is hoping that his mare will relish coming back to 53kg this weekend and has Kathy O’Hara retaining the ride.
“She meets some better at the weights and some worse but I just think dropping to 53 kilos is going to make a big difference for her,” Oliver said.
“She’s a small horse and she hasn’t carried that sort of weight for a long time.”
Single Gaze hasn’t carried less than 57kg since her third in Rosehill’s Group 3 Neville Sellwood Stakes (2000m) in the wet behind Assign with 56kg back in March.
The last time she had under 56kg on her back produced a mile win in the Group 3 Keith Nolan (1600m) at Kembla Grange 12 months prior with 54kg.
Her Ladbrokes Stakes run last weekend followed a similarly close fourth to Bonneval when under two lengths off the Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman-trained winner in the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m).
Along with the successive Group 1 fourths in the lead-up to Caulfield Cup Day, Single Gaze also started at the track first-up when 10th as an $81 roughie behind subsequent The Everest runner-up Vega Magic in the Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m).
She has winning form up to 2200m with her last victory being over that distance at Doomben in the Group 2 P.J. O’Shea Stakes back in June.
A fortnight later she was second past the post behind Chocante in the Group 2 Brisbane Cup (2200m) and on Saturday she is out over the mile and a half for the first time since she fell in the Group 1 ATC Oaks (2400m) in April of 2016.
“She won the O’Shea Stakes in Brisbane over 2200 metres and she fell in the Oaks when she looked to be making a run into the race,” Olive said.
“So I’m looking forward to seeing what she can do over 2400.
“Everything has just ticked over beautifully and I couldn’t be happier with her than what I am now.
“I think she’s in perfect condition and she has come through that last start better than the one before.”
To lock in Single Gaze for the upset Caulfield Cup result in 2017 head to Ladbrokes.com.au.
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