Gaze eye­ing Cup

Plucky Olive mare to bat­tle raiders for feature

The Sportsman Weekend - - News - MATT JONES

A HOST of glam­our in­ter­na­tional raiders will be fan­cied to take out to­mor­row’s $3m Caulfield Cup (2400m) but it’s a Can­berra run­ner that could beat them all to the post.

Single Gaze has been build­ing and im­prov­ing nicely this prepa­ra­tion ahead of her big­gest day.

She was less than three lengths off Gailo Chop in the Caulfield Stakes and was hold­ing star mare Bon­neval over the fi­nal 250m of the same race as she fin­ished ahead of her in fourth.

Trainer Nick Olive said the $34 of­fered by the TAB dur­ing the week should be too juicy for pun­ters to ig­nore given her form.

“I think she’s over the odds. Her form has been very solid and prob­a­bly the most con­sis­tent out of those weight-for-age horses go­ing into the cup,” he said.

“She was prob­a­bly left a lit­tle flat-footed when they sprinted last start but I thought she was very strong through the line so I’m re­ally look­ing for­ward to get­ting her out to 2400m.

“Jon Snow prob­a­bly put a long neck on her in the straight and she fought back to just go down to him by a nose for third so it showed how strong she was on the line.”

The only rea­son Olive could find for her long odds was the fact she’s never been tried over 2400m, but reg­u­lar jockey Kathy O’Hara told Olive the horse felt “sen­sa­tional” and was look­ing for more ground.

“I’m look­ing for­ward to her run­ning 2400m. She’s never been over that far but I’ve al­ways thought she was look­ing for a trip so that could be the big fac­tor,” Olive said.

“It’s go­ing to make a big dif­fer­ence her and she’s only a small horse so drop­ping from 57kg down to 53kg is go­ing to make things a lot eas­ier.”

From gate 12 O’Hara will push for­ward on the five-year-old and try and find a nice spot with cover.

The race is very open, which is what’s made Olive con­fi­dent.

His mare has been racing at Group or Listed level vir­tu­ally her whole ca­reer.

“I think it’s a re­ally even race and it’s hard to pick one out. It’s full of depth there’s prob­a­bly about 12 horses that can win it,” Olive said.

“There’s not an outand-out star in it but one could come out of the race. At the mo­ment I think they’re an even lot.”

Mean­while, fan­cied run­ner Bon­neval was given a nice gal­lop by in­form hoop Ker­rin McEvoy dur­ing the week.

The Ever­est win­ning jockey said she was mov­ing well and “nice and bright”.

A host of big bets have been put on the Mur­ray Baker run­ner and she can bounce back from a luck­less run in the Caulfield Stakes.

Trainer Nick Olive be­lieves Single Gaze is tick­ing over nicely ahead of to­mor­row’s Caulfield Cup.

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