Canberra trainer Nick Olive had tears as he spoke with pride about the performance of runner-up Single Gaze in the $3 million Caulfield Cup.
The pint-sized mare led around the home turn and was only overhauled by eventual winner Boom Time passing the 100m of the famous 2400m handicap.
“Unreal,” Olive said.
“I’m just so proud of her. How gutsy was she? She had to guts it out from the 500-metre mark.
“She had to take the field up to the tearaway leader (Sir Isaac Newton) and she was still there fighting at the end.
“I’m just so proud of the horse. I can’t say enough about her.”
Olive admitted he thought his stable star might have been going to win the race when it came to the business end in the final 300m.
“Even at the 200 (metres) I thought she was going to keep going,” he said.
“He (Boom Time) just got the drop on her and beat her but she was strong the whole way and she had to do it tough.”
Single Gaze won the Group One Vinery Stud Stakes during the 2016 autumn carnival in Sydney and then didn’t race for 45 weeks after falling in the Australian Oaks at her next start.
The mare has campaigned in Melbourne during the spring, with Saturday’s Caulfield Cup her major aim.
Her connections were celebrating her performance for second.
Her jockey Kathy O’Hara copped a 10-meeting suspension out of the Caulfield Cup.
Having performed so gamely, a start in the Melbourne Cup 2017 now awaits Single Gaze.
“If she pulls up well, she’ll be running,” Olive said.