Schweida's Odyssey ready to go one betterThursday 18 October 2018
Trainer Kelly Schweida will get an extra lift if two-year-old The Odyssey can win at Doomben.
The Odyssey is by Schweida's former top sprinter Better Than Ready who now stands at Lyndhurst Stud in Queensland.
Saturday marks the anniversary of Better Than Ready's best win when he ran a course record in taking the Listed Brian Crowley Stakes at Randwick.
Better Than Ready won races eight races from 16 starts in a career dogged by injury.
The stallion has had several barrier trial winners and race placegetters but The Odyssey could give him his first city success.
The Odyssey will again take on star youngster Guntantes when they meet in the St Rita's College Handicap (1050m).
He ran second to Guntantes at Doomben on a heavy track two weeks ago and the conditions will be the same again on Saturday.
Schweida is hoping race experience and a swing in the weights can help The Odyssey reverse the placings.
"My bloke was very green at his first run. The run should have helped him mature a bit," he said.
"Better Than Ready has all the attributes to make a top sire and if would be great to be part of his first winner."
As a precaution against a Doombn washout, Schweida has entered The Odyssey and stablemate Pocket Pistol for the Gold Coast on Saturday.
Trainer David Vandyke had the spring hopes of some of his talented three-year-old fillies dashed but he begins his summer campaign with well-bred Okeechobee.
Vandyke had hoped to be a major player in the southern spring carnivals with Baccarat Baby, Miss Quaintly and Asharani but for various reason they have all been spelled.
However the in-form Vandyke, who has a winning strike-rate of 35 per cent this season, looks to have a nice team ready for the summer.
One of those is Okeechobee who is by champion sire Sebring out of the mare Sorched, making her a relation to the multiple Group One winner Melito and former stakes winner Furnaces.
A $210,000 buy at the Magic Millions Yearling Sales, Okeechobee is raced by an all-woman syndicate which makes her eligible for a $500,000 in bonus payments and $2 million in prize money for the Magic Millions 2YO Classic in January.
Jockey Jeff Lloyd made the trip from his Gold Coast base to score an impressive barrier trial win on Okeechobee two weeks ago.