By Glenn Davis
Trainer Kelly Schweida is far from running scared of star galloper Alligator Blood and is hopeful The Odyssey can cause an upset when the pair clash in the Quality Handicap at Doomben on Saturday.
The Odyssey and Alligator Blood have met once in their careers with David Vandyke’s Alligator Blood getting the upper hand in the Listed Gold Edition Stakes over 1200 metres at Eagle Farm in December last year.
Like Alligator Blood, The Odyssey is on the comeback trail and has not started since finishing seventh to Dawn Passage in the Group 3 Fred Best Classic at Doomben in May.
Schweida is looking for a wet track to boost the hopes of The Odyssey and is buoyed by the forecast for rain on Thursday and Friday.
“He excels in the wet and has a good record,” Schweida said.
“They’re forecasting rain today and tomorrow but who knows if it’ll come.”
The Odyssey was fined tuned for his return when he finished second to Tony Gollan’s star sprinter Zoustyle in an 840-metre barrier trial at Doomben on Tuesday.
“I put a lot of thought into it before I gave him a trial on Tuesday as I just felt he needed a good gallop before Saturday,” Schweida said.
“He’ll run well but Alligator Blood is a very good horse and he walloped us once before but he’s still got to carry 61kgs.”
Schweida has not finalised The Odyssey’s immediate future and is undecided where he’ll run next.
“I want to give him a couple of runs before he gets ready for the Magic Millions,” Schweida said.
“Normally, I would send a horse to Sydney but all the good sprinters are there for The Everest at this time of the year.
“The Weetwood is coming up but I haven’t made up my mind about anything just yet.”
The Listed Weetwood Handicap (1200m) will be run at Toowoomba on September 26.
The Odyssey has been a great money spinner for Schweida and his wife Vera who is a part-owner in the four-year-old.
A son of Better The Ready, The Odyssey cost only $30,000 as a yearling and has returned his owners more than $1 million in prizemoney with eight wins and five placings from 19 starts.
Ironically, Schweida rates his defeat in the Group 3 Gold Coast Guineas in May as the gelding’s best performance.
“I still think his best run was when he ran second to Hightail at the Gold Coast last campaign,” he said.