Canberra trainer Nick Olive is considering the Doncaster Mile for Single Gaze. Photo: Jamila ToderasCanberra trainer Nick Olive is considering the $3 million Doncaster Mile and the Coolmore Classic as he chases Single Gaze’s second group 1 win.
His stable star missed the spring due to a ligament problem after she claimed her maiden group 1 when she saluted in the Vinery Stud Stakes (2000 metres) last autumn.
But she’s back to “100 per cent” fitness, although Olive is planning a long, slow preparation towards her spring targets after returning to work.
He was unsure what exactly those targets would be, but said both the Doncaster (1600m) and the Coolmore (1500m) were options.
What her other plans were would depend on her form, but Olive was again hoping to extend her out beyond 2000m again.
Olive said she’d “really matured”, “strengthened up” and “filled out” during her time in the paddock.
“I haven’t finalised plans yet mate. We are bringing her up quite slowly. I’m just going to keep taking that tact,” he said.
“There’s a myriad of races on the agenda, but I just haven’t finalised a program. I just want to see how she’s coming up.
“Something like the Doncaster’s on the schedule, the Coolmore Classic, those sort of races … and then hoping to step her up after that.”
Olive is on the NSW Trainers Association board and was behind Canberra horses being allowed to compete in the NSW Country Championships.
He said he was “neutral” on Racing NSW’s decision to switch Canberra horses and trainers to the Provincial Champs for 2017.
“I’m sort of neutral on the idea. It’s obviously going to be harder to win the Provincials, but the thing is we get more chances at it [and] that’s inviting,” Olive said.
“There’s only two horses that can qualify from each Country district whereas from the Provincial it’s three from every race.”
Olive has four runners and one emergency running at Canberra’s Thoroughbred Park on Thursday.
While he said he had several strong chances, he thought Turbo Bundy in the benchmark handicap (1000m) was his best hope after his strong win at Wagga Wagga last start.
“They’re all going well, nearly all of them are chances tomorrow. I’m looking forward to it. I think Unyielding will go well, Turbo Bundy will go well,” Olive said.
“[Rhomlo’s] going fantastic, he should’ve won last start.
“[But] probably Turbo Bundy [is my best chance]. He just won well the other day and has held his form.
“He’s drawn the outside gate, which is a bit of a concern, but we think he’ll run another great race.”