Sport


Nick Olive expecting 'emotional' Kembla Grange in honour of Bede Murray

Bede Murray was a "champion guy", which is why Canberra trainer Nick Olive is expecting an "emotional day" at Kembla Grange on Friday.

Olive is taking his star filly Single Gaze to the Wollongong track for the group 3 Keith F Nolan Classic (1600 metres), less than three days after Murray died following his battle with cancer.

Murray and Olive were on the NSW trainers board together and regularly caught up at country carnivals.

Olive said it had been a tough week and felt there would be a release of feelings at Murray's home track at Kembla.

"He was on the trainers board with me and obviously racing against him over the years, just travelling away to those Wagga and Albury carnivals and mixing with him socially there," Olive said.

"He was a really nice guy, just a champion guy. It'll be an emotional day down there I'd say, definitely, it'll be a sombre mood there for sure."

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Olive had contemplated taking Single Gaze to Rosehill for the group 2 Phar Lap Stakes (1500m) on Saturday, but he really wants to see whether the daughter of Not A Single Doubt can handle the mile like he thinks she will.

He said the three-year-old filly is "on trial" to earn a run in the group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) in a fortnight.

Single Gaze put in a courageous run to finish second to Ghisoni in the group 2 Surround Stakes (1400m) last start and Olive is hoping that form line proves a strong one.

Out of the Godolphin stable, Ghisoni is now the $4.40 favourite for the group 1 Coolmore Classic (1500m) at Rosehill on Saturday.

It seems the bookmakers think it is a good indication of Single Gaze's form, given she's on the fourth line of betting at $6 behind $3.20-favourite Asinara.

But Olive thought $3.50-shot Honesta, trained by John Thompson, was the horse to beat in the Keith Nolan.

"It'd be really good to see Ghisoni come out and win easy, sort of really make her form look good," he said.

"It does give us confidence. They've got a massive opinion of Ghisoni, she's a quality filly and if we can race up to that form line, things will be looking good."

 

While Single Gaze has been consistent throughout her short career, finishing in the places from six of her 11 starts, she has become something of a bridesmaid with just one win.

That came in her first race - a plate for two-year-olds (1100m) at Rosehill in November 2014.

Despite the victory drought, she's still amassed more than $730,000 in prizemoney, thanks largely to her placings at the Magic Millions race day - Australia's richest day of racing - on the Gold Coast over the last couple of years.

"It would be good if she could win another race, but she's up in that higher grade so it's a lot harder to win another race, but it definitely would be good if she won another one that's for sure," Olive said.

Olive scratched his two-year-old, Fox Tales, from the $275,000 Black Opal Stakes (1200m) on Sunday because he was sore.

He's getting tests done to determine what exactly is wrong with the son of Foxwedge and how long he will need to spell.

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