The Melbourne Cup dream ended in disappointment for connections of Riverina owned and bred Single Gaze, with the mare pulling up ‘battered and bruised’ following the Flemington feature.
Gundagai part-owners Martin Hay and David Tout and stable foreman Billy Owen were left trying to balance their pride in the gutsy galloper with the pain of seeing their hopes all-but dashed early, and the anguish of seeing the five-year-old finish up sore.
“She’s battered and bruised, she got battered from pillar to post,” Hay said at Flemington.
“We’re still very proud of her, it’s just disappointing for the horse – she deserved a better chance than that.”
Single Gaze jumped well from barrier 11 but struck trouble inside 200 metres in the two-mile classic.
Just as she crossed to settle, Single Gaze was forced into runners on her inside, which saw her shuffled back. By the time they passed the post for the first time, she was midfield and it never got any better.
While Rekindling went on to win for jockey Corey Brown, Kathy O’Hara returned with a tale of woe after finishing 17th.
“She was knocked around a lot in the race and never had a lot of luck in running,” O’Hara said.
“She was brave enough to run past a couple late but it was just too rough for her."
Single Gaze was reported to be lame in the near foreleg.
“She’s severely knocked about,” Hay said.
“The horse nearly fell, it could’ve been nasty, but anyway… we’ll let the dust settle and have a good look at her tomorrow.”
When it does, Hay said they’ll be able to look back on the wonderful ride the little chestnut has taken them on this spring, including a memorable second in the Caulfield Cup.
“Definitely – it’s phenomenal,” he said. “We’re that proud of her. It’s an achievement that we got here… it’s a horse race, it’s not the end of the world.”