Trainer Kelly Schweida won the early barrier draw battle with rivals in the $500,000 QTIS Aquis Jewel and is now hoping The Odyssey can go on to win the war in the 1200-metre feature at the Gold Coast on Saturday.
The Odyssey drew perfectly in barrier one which should see The Odyssey attempt to repeat his last start all the way win at Doomben on March 2.
In contrast, Tony Gollan’s three runners will all jump from the second half of the field with Ready To Roam in seven, Perudo in nine and Sugar Boom jumping from gate 10 in the 12-horse field.
The Odyssey made it three wins from six starts when the Better Than Ready colt got away with some cheap sectionals before holding on to down Ready To Roam and the Matt Dunn-trained Xanthus last start.
Schweida expects The Odyssey will again lead but has warned the colt can take a sit if taken on in front.
“Barrier one is a nice draw in a field of 16,” Schweida said.
“If something wants to take him on from that alley it will only be to their detriment.
“They’ll need to be pretty quick to get two lengths clear to try to cross him.
“If something does take him on and leads then I’m not worried about him taking a sit behind as he’s sat off the pace and won before.”
Schweida has huge respect for Gollan’s trio and Canberra raider Girls Are Ready.
“Doing the video form, you’d have to think Perudo is the one to beat and Girls Are Ready was here for the Magic Millions (Classic),” he said.
Perudo won his first start at Toowoomba in mid-February before being run down by stablemate Niedorp at her first attempt over 1200 metres at Doomben on March 2.
Perudo is raced by Eureka Stud which has been a big part of Gollan’s success as a trainer.
Gollan won his first big feature with a Eureka-owned horse when Group 1 winner Temple of Boom won the Magic Millions Prelude a decade ago.
Gollan also had great success with Temple Of Boom’s half-brother Spirit Of Boom who won two Group 1’s in the William Reid Stakes at Mooney Valley and Doomben 10,000 in 2014.
Spirit Of Boom is the sire of Perudo and will be a major player at the Magic Millions March sales which starts at the Gold Coast on Monday.
– Racing Queensland