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Single Gaze Inducted into the Hall of Fame

John Tuxworth

April 27, 2016, 3:33 p.m.


Asked whether she'd watched a replay of her horrific fall on Single Gaze, jockey Kathy O'Hara's response summed up her love for the Canberra horse.


"I have seen it, I'm just relieved that she's all right and everything will be all right," she said.


O'Hara flew to Canberra on Friday as Single Gaze was inducted into the ACT Racing Hall of Fame for her win in the group 1 Vinery Stakes.


Just two weeks later she is recovering from surgery to repair a punctured lung, a broken collarbone and broken ribs sustained when she fell from the filly in the Australian Oaks at Randwick on April 9.


Despite the ordeal O'Hara is hellbent on getting back in the saddle as soon as possible, which could be up to three months.


"I'm feeling better every day and the recovery is going well so far. I just have to wait and see how it all heals up and how the physio goes. Hopefully I'll be back sooner rather than later," she said.


"I'm quite lucky looking at [the fall] and it could have been much worse.


"They always go on about the highs and lows of racing and it [two rides on Single Gaze] pretty much summed it up in a fortnight.


"You go from the elation of winning a group 1 one week, to hitting the deck the next.


"You've got to take it how it comes and everything's come out OK in the end.


"It could be anywhere up to three months but I don't think it will be that long. It will depend on how the physio goes, which I haven't started yet, I was told to rest it for at least three weeks.


"She [Single Gaze] will be back, and I'll be back."


O'Hara insists she won't be hesitant or hold any lingering doubts that will impact on her performance when she returns.


"No not at all, I just want to get back out there and get going again," she said.


"There's risks that come with this sport, not just jockeys but trackwork riders and everyone.


"It is part and parcel of the sport and you take it as it comes, I love what I do and I wouldn't change it for the world."


The strength of the O'Hara-Single Gaze relationships may perhaps come down to one shared trait - plenty of ticker.


The three-year-old filly is only small but showed loads of fight to deliver Canberra trainer Nick Olive his first group 1 win.


"I love her, she's such a gutsy little thing and she just tries her heart out for me," O'Hara said.


"I would never have thought this little filly would win a group 1 race from where she started.


"She keeps improving and she's little, it's no secret and to fathom where it comes from I don't really know, it's all heart."


For Olive, winning a group 1 was a dream he'd harboured since he decided at just eight years of age he wanted to be a horse trainer.


"I fell it was a high-low-high. Winning that race, watching Kath and the horse fall like they did, and then to have the relief everyone was going to be all right," Olive said.


"To be honest I've never thought about the Oaks and whether we could have won that or whatever. We live to fight another day.


"Kath has a great relationship with her and all the best races she's won, Kath's been on her.


"They [jockeys] put their bodies on the line all the time and it can be a very dangerous job, but if you love what you do and love going to work every day, there's not much better feeling than that."


Olive said Single Gaze is also recovering well, but it is unclear when she will return to racing.


"Everything's good, there's no broken bones for the filly which is great," he said.


"She pulled a muscle in her stomach, which is probably the main thing but time will heal that and she'll be back to fight another day."

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