Odeon continues drive to Derby at Caulfield

Sep 15, 2016

Promising young stayer Odeon will take a step towards a Victoria Derby start with a strong performance in Saturday’s Ladbrokes supports National Jockey Trust Plate (1600m) at Caulfield.

While the race carries no black type status and standard Saturday metropolitan prizemoney, the three-year-old event formed part of Tarzino’s successful Victoria Derby preparation last year.

Tarzino won the race from barrier 16 last year and Odeon will have to do exactly that if he is to force bookmakers to trim his current Victoria Derby quote of $41.

Odeon showed his staying prowess with a dominant maiden win over 1700m at Geelong on August 17, which followed solid efforts at Flemington.

Co-trainer Simon Zahra said the son of NZ-based stallion Zacinto continued to improve with racing while a soft track would suit him after the colt won in sift (7) conditions last start.

“It was an exciting win at Geelong and if the track is soft, it won’t worry him,” Zahra, who trains Odeon in partnership with Mathew Ellerton, said.

“We don’t have to keep looking at the sky all the way through his prep because he handles all conditions.

“He’s had a little freshen up but this race hopefully is a stepping stone to the Derby.”

Zahra said the stable would happily step up Odeon in trip after Saturday’s race, confident in the four-start veteran’s ability to see out the 2500m Derby trip as a spring three-year-old.

“If he trains off at any stage we’re happy to put him away until the autumn but if he continues to develop the way he is, we can continue to go towards the Derby,” Zahra said.

“He’ll stay all day.”

Chris Symons continues his partnership with Odeon after scoring on him at Geelong while Damian Lane will be aboard Ellerton Zahra Racing’s other Caulfield runner Rough Justice.

Rough Justice has missed a place at all three runs this time in but the talented galloper has had little luck in any of his recent starts.

Zahra says the son of Wanted can bounce back to top form in the Sheen Group Handicap (1400m).

“Rough Justice hasn’t had a lot of luck but he’s racing well,” Zahra said.

“He’s over the 1400m and this doesn’t look overly strong so he’s a good chance again.”