Nick Olive’s Fox Tales off to prepare for Black Opal Stakes

Canberra trainer Nick Olive is aiming Fox Tales at Canberra’s group 3 Black Opal Stakes. Photo: Elesa KurtzCanberra trainer Nick Olive is hoping Fox Tales can go one better than stable star Single Gaze in the $275,000 Black Opal Stakes (1200 metres) after the son of Foxwedge saluted on debut at Thoroughbred Park on Friday.

Fox Tales jumped well and sat on the pace before taking the lead in the home straight, winning by ¾ length from Can’t Find Snippy, with No When To Hold Em third in the two-year-old handicap (1000m).

The final four races on Friday’s program were abandoned due to poor visibility. There were no issues with the track.

The two-year-old colt will go to the paddock for a brief spell to freshen up for next month’s Lightning Ridge Plate (1000m) as a stepping stone into the Black Opal Stakes on March 6.

“That’s where he’ll head. I’m thinking now of giving him five days in the paddock and missing the next two-year-old race and then heading to the preview, and then hopefully on to the Black Opal from there,” Olive said.

Olive said he thought Fox Tales would turn into a good horse, but he had a long way to go to show if he could be as good as Single Gaze, which is “the best horse I’ve ever had”.

Single Gaze finished second to Takedown in last year’s Black Opal after finishing third to Le Chef in the $2 million Magic Millions Two-year-old Classic (1200m).

“I really like this horse … he’s just improved [with] everything he’s done. He’s given me the feel of a good horse and he’s nowhere near his top yet,” Olive said.

“He’s got a lot to learn and a lot more to come down the track.

“[Single Gaze is] the best horse I’ve ever had so he’s got a long way to get to her.”

Single Gaze spent 10 days in the paddock and was back in work, getting ready for the group 2 Surround Stakes (1400m).

Then the plan is for the group 3 Kembla Grange Classic (1600m) on March 11, before the group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) two weeks later.

Potentially the $1 million Australian Oaks (2400m) would be after that.

“She’ll be nominated for the Oaks, but I don’t know whether she’ll run that trip,” Olive said.

Olive has Rose Of Falvelon running in the benchmark 78 handicap (1000m) at Randwick on Saturday, where she’ll probably run even though she doesn’t handle the wet.

Norm Gardner’s Atom Eve will jump in the Highway Handicap (1200m), where the unbeaten three-year-old filly is going for her third straight win.

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