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The Odyssey closes in on million dollar club

By Glenn Davis

Trainer Kelly Schweida hopes talented colt The Odyssey can become his first million-dollar earner, but admits he has some reservations about his prospects at Doomben on Saturday.

The Odyssey has not started since winning the three-year-old QTIS Jewel at the Gold Coast in mid-March and returns after a short break in the QTIS Three-Year-Old Plate over 1200 metres.

Schweida had hoped The Odyssey could begin his winter campaign in a shorter race before programs were changed due to COVID-19.

Racing Queensland originally scrapped the Brisbane winter carnival but has since issued a revised schedule of 25 Black-Type races including two Group 1 races.

“He was going to start off in the Mick Dittman Plate over 1110 metres which was scheduled for earlier this month but that was changed,” Schweida said.

“He won a trial quite well last week but he’s going over 1200 metres first-up when I would have preferred something a bit shorter.

“He’ll still run well but he’s never won first-up.”

Schweida is yet to decide on a winter program for The Odyssey but has ruled out the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap at Eagle Farm on June 6.

“He’s not a Stradbroke horse and I’ll see how he goes on Saturday which will help us decide,” he said.

“The Gold Coast Guineas is coming up in a few weeks but I’m not sure what to do with the zonal racing we have at the moment.

“He’s got to chase set weight races now he’s won so much prizemoney.”

The Odyssey has earned $920,800 in his career and is expected to join the millionaire’s club this campaign.

“I’ve never trained a horse to win $1 million but I’ve gone close a couple of times with Nova Star and Miss Cover Girl,” Schweida said.

Schweida won the Group 1 Tatt’s Tiara with Miss Cover Girl in 2016 after claiming the same race when it was known as the Winter Stakes with Nova Star in 2007.

Nova Star earned more than $886,000 during her seven-win career while Miss Cover Girl retired with eight wins and almost $853,000 in prizemoney.

All three sprinters were cheap buys for Schweida with Nova Star costing $13,500, Miss Cover Girl at $18,000 and The Odyssey $30,000.

Racing Queensland webnews - April 30