Co-trainer Simon Zahra is confident that his three year old Odeon will have no problems stepping up to the 2500m of the Group 1 $600,000 South Australian Derby at Morphettville on Saturday.
Odeon is the winner of three of his last four starts and comfortably ran out the 2000m when he beat his older rivals in a BenchMark 84 Handicap at Caulfield on April 29.
“He was strong to the line the other day over 2000,” Zahra said.
“His sectionals were good and his mother (Theatre Buff) won over 2400 metres twice.
“He’s got a turn of foot and I think he thrives off good tempos. All his best races have been off strong tempos. To me the distance is not going to be a worry.
“We just need a bit of luck.”
Zahra trains in partnership with Matthew Ellerton and said that Odeon has continued to please the stable since his last start one and a quarter lengths win at Caulfield.
“He had a little gallop on Friday to keep him ticking over and he’ll do a piece of work on Tuesday and that will be about it,” Zahra said.
“He’s pretty fit now, nice and round and he looks good.”
Zahra claims Odeon’s recent consistent form is a result of him being gelded last year an the stable is seeing a better horse who continues to impress on the track.
“He was just not concentrating and probably just wasn’t quite there off his first preparation,” Zahra said.
“We gelded him and he lightened off a bit so we gave him a spell and just targeted this Derby, instead of Sydney, with it being a bit later.
“It’s all gone to plan so far and we’ve just got a week to go.
“He’s been a different horse. He’s always been a magnificent track worker and always shown us ability but he just got to the races and carried on.”
Damian Lane will get his chance to ride Odeon again after partnering the gelding to his first up win this campaign in a 1400m Class 1 at Bendigo on March 14.
Odeon sits at the top of the market order for the South Australian Derby at $4 at Ladbrokes.com.au ahead of the Ciaron Maher trained Ruthven at $6 and Darren Weir’s Rockstar Rebel at $8 while Netherfield and Volatile Miss share the next line of betting at $9.
Early market order for the South Australian Derby at Ladbrokes.com.au: $4 Odeon, $6 Ruthven, $8 Rockstar Rebel, $9 Netherfield, Volatile Mix, $11 Grand Chancellor, Waging War, $13 Anaheim, $15 Wu Gok, $17 Lycurgus, $21 Bedford, Savvy Dreams, Tumultuous, $26 or better the rest.