Single Gaze’s close second over 1400 metres in the Group 1 CF Orr Stakes has buoyed jockey Kathy O’Hara’s confidence for the rest of the campaign.
O’Hara felt Single Gaze had come back in great order after a spring preparation which included a second in the Caulfield Cup, and Saturday’s performance confirmed it.
Over a distance short of her best, Single Gaze sprinted along the rail after being held up to be beaten only by Hartnell in a blanket finish in which the first seven horses were separated by less than a length.
“I actually thought going into the race she was the best she had been first-up since she was a three-year-old,” O’Hara said.
“She looked good and she maintained a lot of muscle and fitness from the Cup preparation, so I think that made a difference.
“It has definitely given me confidence, 100 per cent.
“I thought she would run well. I didn’t think she would run as well as she did from the spot I got into.
“I was three back on the fence early which I thought was not ideal, but still not bad. Then the pace went out of the race completely and I ended up third last on the fence.
“I had to ride her for luck, squeeze through a little narrow run on the fence and she finished off the best she has finished off in a race, I think, over a short trip anyway.”
The plan for Single Gaze is two more runs in Melbourne in the Peter Young Stakes and Australian Cup before she heads to Sydney for the Ranvet Stakes and BMW (2400m).
She has reportedly been bought by Japanese interests but her campaign is expected to remain intact.
She firmed from $21 to $15 for the Australian Cup (2000m) with Tosen Stardom the $5 favourite ahead of his stablemate Gailo Chop who won Saturday’s Carlyon Cup (1600m).
“Normally her third run back is getting to her best runs, so she should be spot-on for that race hopefully,” O’Hara said.