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Punter's Guide to Thoroughbred Tracks
By Glenn Davis
A horror barrier hasn’t helped a dilemma facing trainer Kelly Schweida with in-form sprinter The Odyssey ahead of his next challenge in the Fred Best Classic at Doomben on Saturday.
The Odyssey became a millionaire with his last start second to Sydney sprinter Hightail in the Group 3 Gold Coast Guineas (1200m) on May 16.
Now, the three-year-old is set for a return clash with several other interstate raiders in the 1350-metre Group 3 feature.
“It’s a high-quality race and any one of six or seven runners can win it,” Schweida said.
“Unfortunately, we’ve drawn 13 which is a tough draw around Doomben.”
Schweida said The Odyssey had recovered well from his tough run in the Gold Coast Guineas but he was not sure if he would go on to the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm on Saturday week if successful.
BRANDONS GOLD COAST GUINEAS 1200m
The winner of the Fred Best Classic will be exempt from a ballot for the Stradbroke Handicap, in which The Odyssey is currently well down the ballot order in 32nd place with only 49.5kgs.
“It’s up in the air at the moment regarding the Stradbroke,” Schweida said.
“I’m not sure about him getting 1400 metres at this stage.
“He’s only ever been past 1200 metres once when he led and got run down in the final 50 metres in the Magic Millions QTIS race in January.
"But the winner is exempt from a ballot."
Schweida said The Odyssey could spell if he didn’t go to the Stradbroke or he might run in the Listed Mick Dittman Plate over 1000 metres the same day.
“He’s recovered well after the Gold Coast Guineas but he knew the next day he had been in a race,” Schweida said.
“They ran 1min 8.7s that day and he had to race outside the leader when he couldn’t cross them.
“I’d love a bit of rain for him before the weekend but there doesn’t look to be any around.”
Schweida has never won a Stradbroke but is a two-times winner at the highest level after winning the Group 1 Tatt’s Tiara with Miss Cover Girl in 2016 and the Winter Stakes with Nova Star in 2007.
All three sprinters were cheap buys for Schweida with Nova Star costing $13,500, Miss Cover Girl $18,000 and The Odyssey $30,000.
Racing Queensland webnews - May 28
Doomben | Brisbane Racing Club@Doomben | 3:35 PM