Odeon going for Caulfield Cup start in MRC Foundation Cup

Sep 20, 2018

A Caulfield Cup start will be on the line for Odeon when the top galloper steps out in the Group 3 MRC Foundation Cup (2000m) on Saturday.

The MRC Foundation Cup, also known as the Naturalism Stakes, offers a Caulfield Cup ballot exemption to the winner. Odeon is one of 16 runners in the $150,000 race and has drawn perfectly in barrier four.

The son of Zacinto has raced like he needed the 2000m of the MRC Foundation Cup at his last couple of runs. He finished less than a length from the winner two starts back at The Valley then was only two lengths from Magic Consol in the Group 2 Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) at the same track last time out.

“As his three runs this time in have shown, the horse is going terrific,” Simon Zahra, who trains Odeon in partnership with Mathew Ellerton, said.

“He has been sharp out of the gates and has hit the line well, but he just needs 2000m.

“He gets 2000m on Saturday and his work since his last start has been terrific so we’re expecting him to run a big race. He’s a chance to make the Caulfield Cup field on Saturday.”

Stable stalwart Rock ‘N’ Gold will carry the same blue, yellow and red silks as Odeon when he resumes in the Grassroots Sports Club Handicap over the 1100m course.

Rock ‘N’ Gold is now an eight-year-old, but Zahra said the son of Rock Of Gibraltar is showing no signs of fading in the early part of his latest preparation.

“He raced really well last time in and he has got a good first-up record, so we give him a sneaky chance in a tough race,” Zahra said.

“His work and jumpouts have pleased us so he has to be some sort of chance because he’s in fairly well at the weights with 56kg.

“If they go too hard up front, then he’ll be finishing off well in the straight. He’ll run well.”

Ellerton and Zahra accepted for the Group 3 How Now Stakes at Caulfield and a race in Adelaide on Saturday for smart mare Creativity. However, Ellerton and Zahra have decided to run Creativity in Melbourne.

Zahra said the hectic speed of her last run in the Group 3 Cockram Stakes took the steam of out Creativity’s finishing sprint, but the stable has been pleased with her progress since that run.

“That run has tightened her up nicely and I think she’ll run a lot better wherever she goes,” Zahra said.

“She was always chasing off the bit in the Cockram Stakes, so it wasn’t run to suit last time, so she can improve a lot of she can travel into the race.”

Damien Thornton will ride the stable’s three runners at Caulfield.

Good luck to the connections of all three horses and thanks again to Ellerton Zahra Racing’s tremendous staff for their dedication to getting the horses to the races in terrific shape.