Odeon ready for his shot at the big time in SA Derby

May 11, 2017

The decision to geld Odeon has already paid dividends but the stayer could achieve the ultimate in Saturday’s Group 1 South Australian Derby (2500m) at Morphettville.

Trainers Mathew Ellerton and Simon Zahra aborted a Victoria Derby campaign for the son of Zacinto in the spring, making the tough choice to geld the impressive three-year-old.

“That was his first preparation. He showed us a lot, but he wasn’t ready as he had trouble concentrating,’’ Zahra said.

“We thought a spell and also getting him gelded would work for him. Sydney was going to come up too quickly, so we decided to target Adelaide.”

The decision has proven a masterstroke with Odeon posting three impressive wins and a luckless second in his four autumn runs to be the favourite for the South Australian Derby.

Odeon completed his preparation for the $600,000 event with a gallop at Flemington on Tuesday morning. Zahra said the hit-out left the classy performer in terrific shape for his toughest test with star jockey Damian Lane in the saddle.

“He galloped nicely. It was really good work,’’ he said. “He looked amazing and he’s spot-on in the coat.”

Zahra said Odeon’s South Australian Derby tilt was the culmination of an admiration that started at a Ready To Run Sale in November 2015.

Zahra said Odeon’s initial purchase price was above his budget but persistence landed the exciting galloper at the team’s Flemington base.

“My budget didn’t go to what they wanted, which was $120,000,’’ Zahra said.

“I forgot about him but then couldn’t get him out of my mind. I got a mate to make an inquiry and found he hadn’t been sold. In the finish, the owner stayed in for 25 percent and we got him for $100,000 and sold him to long-time stable clients.”

And the rest is history.

Good luck to all involved with Odeon’s crack at Group 1 glory in Adelaide.