By Glenn Davis
Trainer Kelly Schweida has reverted to a proven formula to help spark The Odyssey back to winning form in the Jewel Prelude for three-year-olds at Doomben on Saturday.
The Odyssey had a great juvenile season last year and was crowned Two-Year-Old of the Year at the annual racing awards last season following his win in the QTIS Jewel at the Gold Coast last March.
The son of Better Than Ready had earlier failed in the Magic Millions Classic at the Gold Coast before Schweida gave him one lead-up run at the corresponding Doomben meeting last year prior to his QTIS Jewel triumph.
The Odyssey hasn’t won since he scored at Eagle Farm in November last year before his placing behind Alligator Blood in the Listed Gold Edition Stakes at Eagle Farm on December 14.
At his last two appearances, The Odyssey finished fourth to Jami Lady in a restricted race at Eagle Farm on December 28 before going under by less than three lengths to Outback Barbie in the Magic Millions QTIS race at the Gold Coast in January.
He is being aimed for the $300,000 QTIS Jewel (1200m) for three-year-olds at the Gold Coast on March.
“I’m following the same pattern as last year when I gave him two weeks off in the paddock after the Magic Millions,” Schweida said.
“He won first up after that break at Doomben this time last year and he went on to win the QTIS Jewel.
“It’s a tough race on Saturday and I’m happy with the way he’s going.”
Schweida was pleased when The Odyssey drew barrier three but revealed it could force a change of tactics.
“I wanted him to be ridden quiet this week but from that alley I don’t think we can,” he said.
The Odyssey is part-owned by Schweida’s wife Vera and has been a great money spinner.
“He only cost $30,000 and he’s won close to $700,000 in prizemoney which will do me,” he said.
Meanwhile Schweida will also saddle up debutant Magic Conqueror and Petunia in the two divisions of the QTIS Prelude (1100m) for two-year-olds.
“Petunia is not a QTIS horse so she won’t be going on to the QTIS Jewel and I’d much prefer an easier race for Magic Conqueror,” he said.
“Magic Conqueror is going okay but he’s run into the best two-year-old (Rothfire) in the State.”
Racing Queensland webnews February 27