Single Gaze Wins Heartbreaking 2017 PJ O’Shea Stakes

A tragic injury suffered by Cylinder Beach overshadowed the 2017 PJ O’Shea Stakes of Single Gaze at Doomben this afternoon.

Single Gaze (pictured winning the Vinery Stud Stakes) returned to winning form in the PJ O'Shea Stakes. Photo by: Steve Hart

Single Gaze (pictured winning the Vinery Stud Stakes) returned to winning form in the PJ O’Shea Stakes. Photo by: Steve Hart

Preferment took up the running in the early stages of the PJ O’Shea Stakes, as Single Gaze took a sit just behind the leader, and the race was run at a farcical tempo.

Single Gaze hit the front at the top of the straight as Preferment was the first horse beaten, by a flying Cylinder Beach loomed on the outside and looked like the winner.

Tragically Cylinder Beach broke down as soon as he hit the front and that ensured that Single Gaze would take out the PJ O’Shea Stakes in unfortunate circumstances.

Trainer Nick Olive was pleased to see Single Gaze add another win to her racing resume, but clearly had mixed emotions and was quick to pay his condolences to the connections of Cylinder Beach.

“I hate to see that sort of thing happen in a race – especially to a horse that was coming to challenge her for the win,” Olive said.

“I feel really sorry for the connections of the trainer and all involved.

“We have won a Group 2 and I suppose that we need to be positive about that.

“She has a heart of a tiger and we all know what she has been through.

“I am just really proud of her.

“For a country trainer to get a horse of this quality and just have this horse turn-up every time is a pretty rare thing.

“I don’t think I will get another one like her.

“We forget that she ran third in the Magic Millions, she raced in the Slipper and she was second in the Black Opal as a two-year-old.

“Here she is winning Group 2 weight-for-age races over 2200 metres.”

Jockey Kathy O’Hara has ridden Single Gaze in the majority of her race starts and she was delighted to see the Not A Single Doubt mare return to her best form after a flat effort in the 2017 Doomben Cup.

“She is my all-time favourite,” O’Hara said.

“She gives her all on the racetrack and she travelled up really strongly today.

“Nick has done a fantastic job with her.

“She is not as effective on that heavy, shifting going, but she was back on top of the ground today and she sprinted well.

“She took over at the top of the straight and really kicked away late.”

Rudy made up good ground late to finish second, while High Church rounded out the placings in third.


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Thomas Hackett

Thomas is a passionate and opinionated racing journalist and punter who has been obsessed with horse racing since he backed Saintly to win the 1996 Melbourne Cup. An international racing enthusiast, he has his finger on the pulse of racing news not just from Australia but all around the world.