By Isaac Murphy
The Odyssey has lived up to his favouritism in the QTIS Jewel Two-Year-Old plate giving Eagle Farm trainer Kelly Schweida his richest ever win with a $300,000 pay check.
The colt carried strong form lines into the race with a dominant two and a half length win in the Two-Year-Old Colts and Geldings Set Weights at Doomben a fortnight ago, along with a listed win in The Phelan Ready Stakes earlier in his prep.
Schweida made no secret that instructions for jockey Jimmy Orman were to take The Odyssey to the front and get the others chasing, a plan they executed perfectly.
“I knew he’d have no problem leading them from the gate with his natural speed, but Jimmy did a great job rating him to get the 1200 metres in the wet,” Schweida said.
“He’s such a tough little horse everyone knew how we were going to go about it and he stuck on in tough conditions.”
Schweida said while he’d won bigger races in his career, it was his biggest pay day for a special group of owners.
“They’re a great group of owners, led by my wife of course,” he laughed.
“I think the horse has earnt a holiday it’s been a tough first prep and maybe with the winnings we can duck away for a bit too.”
Hoop Jimmy Orman said the colt hit the ground running and did everything to script but wouldn’t want the race over again.
“He’s so gutsy this horse, the way the track was playing with horses coming down the outside to win all day really didn’t suit us, but he kept finding,” Orman said.
“That last hundred metres was the longest hundred metres of my life, but no-one could catch us.”
“I’ve got to thank Kelly for letting me ride this horse just about right through his first prep and I can’t wait to see what he can do second time round.”
After the remainder of the meeting was abandoned due to poor visibility it was decided The QTIS Jewel Three-Year-Old Plate would be run at Eagle Farm next Saturday, while the Goldmarket Handicap would be the last race at the Gold Coast next week.