Canberra mare Single Gaze is galloping to greatness thanks to jockey Kathy O'Hara who has the group 1 Doomben Cup in her sights on Saturday.
The experience hoop has turned around the preparation of Single Gaze and taken the mare to heights trainer Nick Olive didn't think was possible.
The four-year-old will line up at $9 at Doomben "in the best shape physically and mentally she has been" for any race in her career.
"I couldn't be happier with her and I'm confident she is up to the class and will run a strong 2000m," Olive said.
"To think she is in a Doomben Cup is incredible considering where she has come from."
The four-year-old has netted $1.6 million 19 career jumps and is already a 2000m group 1 winner after saluting at the Vinery Stud Stakes last year.
But it was her next start where she fell on the turn in the Australian Oaks that led to a lengthy layoff and Olive admitted he thought her best form might have been behind her
"We have been patient with her and waited," Olive said. "In the spring there was something not quite right with her action.
"She was fine in all our checks but she would pull up from gallops a little scratchy and her track rider Billy Owen could feel something wasn't right.
"We waited, which was hard because she is a pretty good horse, and her first couple of runs back were all right, but she wasn't the horse that she was as a three-year-old."
It was her off-the-pace performances in the Millie Fox Stakes and Coolmore Classic which left Olive wondering.
"She was a bit timid, which isn't her. I don't know if she was still thinking about the fall," he said.
"It was the Neville Sellwood [Stakes] that turned things around. We wanted to ride her the way she used to be ridden [up front] and Kathy took it upon herself to make her do it.
"She gave her three smacks with the whip out of the gates and it switched her on and she has been back to old herself ever since. She is a different horse."
Single Gaze was a length from Assign in third placing in the Sellwood and then went to Brisbane where she won the Tails Stakes last month, before running second in the Hollindale Stakes two weeks ago.
The champion mare has drawn wide for the cup and will jump from gate 14, but Olive believe if she hangs tough Single Gaze will challenge on the straight.
"The barrier isn't ideal but I don't think it's going to be a massive problem, on paper there's not a great deal of space in the race so hopefully she'll slide forward and get a nice run," he said.
"I have no doubts about her at 2000m and if she get to her position without using much gas, she is going to be there for a long way and be hard to beat."
In Canberra the synthetic track at Thoroughbred Park will host races for the first time in three years next Friday after officials gave the $2.4 million redeveloped surface its final tick of approval.
"It gives us the opportunity to do a more substantial renovation on turf track through the winter and allows it to recover for spring, summer and autumn racing," Canberra Racing boss Peter Stubbs said.
"Last year we had 10 consecutive races on a heavy 8-10 which is not ideal for turnover and the synthetic will give us much better racing through winter."