Kathy O’Hara will make her Melbourne Cup debut when she rides Single Gaze.
Jockey Kathy O’Hara says there is no horse she would rather ride in her first Melbourne Cup than Single Gaze.
The pair will jump from barrier 11 at Flemington on Tuesday, just outside of O’Hara’s hopes for the inside 10, backing up a gutsy forward run in the Caulfield Cup where the Canberra mare was second to Boom Time.
O’Hara has ridden the Nick-Olive trained five-year-old for 23 of her 27 starts, together reaching highs including wins in the 2016 Group One Vinery Stud Stakes and this year’s Group Two P J O’Shea Stakes, to lows such as a heavy fall in the Australian Oaks.
“There will be no tougher horse than her racing in the race so I’m happy to be on board,” O’Hara told AAP.
“She’s come from many humble beginnings and she’s just come so far in her career. For her to come back after a really nasty fall, it just says volumes about her temperament, her will to win and her toughness.”
And O’Hara has been told exactly how to approach the world’s premier staying race by dual Melbourne Cup and Caulfield Cup-winning jockey Jim Cassidy.
“He actually gave me a couple of rides to watch, one of them Darren Beadman on Kingston Rule (1990). He said you could ride her something like that. He reckons that’s the best way to ride her,” O’Hara said.
She said the 3200 metres would be a different scenario for the pint-sized mare following her Caulfield assault.
“Not leading necessarily but I will sort of try and give her as easy a run as I possibly can. Ideally, we’d be four pairs back somewhere, one off, that would be an ideal scenario,” O’Hara said.
“I’ve got a long time to get her into a rhythm, and just getting into a rhythm is the most important thing, so I don’t really mind where she is necessarily but just as long as she’s happy.”
O’Hara, the only woman riding in this year’s Cup, tuned up for the occasion with three winners at Rosehill on Saturday including the Chris Waller-trained Carzoff.
The imported horse was formerly trained in France by Alain Couetil who will send out Tiberian in Tuesday’s Melbourne Cup.