Kathy O’Hara is able to get something out of Single Gaze that Australia’s best jockeys can’t.
That’s the view of trainer Nick Olive, who admits other riders haven’t clicked with the filly as he prepares her for the Group One Vinery Stud Stakes at Rosehill on Saturday.
“We’ve tried some of the leading jockeys, but the horse just seems to travel best for Kathy,” Olive said.
“All her best performances have come when Kathy has been on.”
O’Hara was controversially dumped from the horse in favour of Damien Oliver for last year’s Magic Millions 2YO Classic.
She got back on board for the Black Opal and Golden Slipper, but then Olive unsuccessfully turned to Tommy Berry and Dwayne Dunn.
O’Hara returned again in the Magic Millions Guineas in January, partnering Single Gaze to a fast-finishing second, a length behind Mahuta.
Performances of that ilk confirm Single Gaze as the best horse Olive has had in his stable.
He’s hoping the filly can deliver his first win – and O’Hara’s second – at the top level.
“She’s definitely the best I’ve ever had and I don’t think we’ve seen the best of her yet,” Olive said.
A win in the Group Three Kembla Grange Classic at her last start ended a 496-day winning drought for Single Gaze.
Despite only two wins from 12 starts, the filly has chalked up more than $850,000 prize money, buttressed by placings in consecutive years during Magic Millions day on the Gold Coast.
Olive said the win at Kembla was an important confidence boost for the stable.
It was the first time Single Gaze had been extended to a mile and on Saturday she faces her first test at 2000m.
Olive said there was evidence in the win which showed him the trip would work in her favour.
“My gut feeling is that she’ll run it,” Olive said.
“I honestly feel she’ll be better over 2000 metres.
“There’s always that little bit of doubt there and you don’t know really know until you get over it, but I genuinely believe she will get the distance.”
Olive said the Vinery shaped as Single Gaze’s grand final but wouldn’t rule out a tilt at the ATC Australian Oaks depending on what he sees on Saturday.