Gundagai’s Group 1 glory

Connections celebrate a memorable victory post-race.
Connections celebrate a memorable victory post-race.

A gutsy little mare with a lot of heart is continuing to bring home the goods for her local owners, last weekend winning her first Group One race.

In the past few months Single Gaze has taken Gundagai men David Tout and Martin Hay on the ride of their lives.

Tout and Hay have a combined 50 per cent share of the three-year-old filly and the owners were over the moon when she stormed to victory in the Group One Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill on Saturday.

Single Gaze sat just off the speed to defeat Valley Girl by almost a length to score a first Group One win for Tout and Hay, as well as Canberra trainer Nick Olive.

Although only Hay was there on race day Tout said he, along with plenty of family and local supporters, were watching the race.

“It was an exciting win,” Tout said.

“We really can’t credit trainer Nick Olive enough, he has got this mare to where she is today.

“Kudos must also go to her strapper Billy Owen, another young former Gundagai kid, he does all the track work with her and literally eats, sleeps and breathes with her.

“She is so well looked after and always looking in mint condition.”

The win was Single Gaze’s second straight after winning the Group Three Keith Nolen at Kembla Grange last start.

Purchased for $70,000 as a yearling from Jugiong breeder Jamie Middleton at Redbank North, who retained a share, the daughter of Not A Single Doubt now has earnings of more than $1million.

With such a strong local connection to the horse it is no wonder she has developed a strong hometown following.

“There are rumours about Gundagai that some of the local betting hots spots in town ran out of money because so many people had backed her,” Tout said.

“The whole town is getting behind her and now following all her races.”

At this stage Tout said they are aiming the plucky filly for the Group One Australian Oaks (2400m) race at Randwick on April 9.

“Looking at her breeding and looking at her size you wouldn’t think she can handle the distance but each run she has proven to us that she can handle it,” he said.

“A lot of people doubted if she would run the 2000m but trainer Nick and strapper Billy were confident that she would.”

Tout said Single Gaze is now the highest prize money winning horse to come out of Canberra, advancing her overall record to 3 wins, 3 seconds and 2 thirds from 13 starts for earnings of $1,178,300.

“She’s bottomless, every race she just seems to find something else to give us, and i don’t think we’ve seen her all yet,” Tout said.

Also enjoying some time in the winner’s circle at Rosehill on Saturday was well known Gundagai racing family, the Taits, who took out the Group Two Emancipation Stakes (1500m) with Zanbagh.

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