Odyssey Moon has scored an important win for his future career as a stallion in a stakes race at Flemington.
The Robert Smerdon-trained four-year-old took out Sunday’s Group Three Standish Handicap in a turnaround in form.
At his previous start at Flemington on December 17, Odyssey Moon finished at the tail of the field.
But Smerdon said it was a “forgive” run after Dwayne Dunn spent the entire race going sideways.
Dunn elected to dump Odyssey Moon to ride fourth-placed Lord Aspen ($5).
Ridden by Noel Callow, Odyssey Moon ($15) scored a short-head win over Cavaloce ($9) with Inspector ($31) a long neck away third.
“Dwayne came back after that last run and said he spent the majority of the race going sideways,” Smerdon said.
“Being a bull (stallion) he resented that.
“Today he drew the outside gate and he (Callow) got him out on his own and that helped.”
Smerdon took over training Odyssey Moon last autumn and said that experience had helped him develop a better understanding of the sprinter.
While Odyssey Moon has stretched out to 1600m previously, Smerdon thinks his best distance is between 1200m to 1400m.
Now Smerdon will talk to bloodstock agent James Harron, who manages the sprinter, to work out a program for the four-year-old.
Smerdon said a Group One win would now be beneficial on his record.
“James will think of something that will further his career as a stallion,” Smerdon said.
“Maybe he has a break and maybe look to Adelaide.”
Smerdon said the engagement of Callow was important as he was able to stand over Odyssey Moon and get him to do his best.
Without a stable to ride for Callow was thankful for Smerdon for the opportunity in the Group Three race.
He says he’s riding work at Caulfield and Cranbourne and doing the hard yards to get his career back on track following a Malaysian jail stint last August over a passport issue.
“I haven’t had a drink since they put me in jail and that’s probably helped,” Callow said.
He now rides at 55kg, or 54.5kg for a good ride if pushed.
“I was lucky to get on this horse because Dwayne didn’t want to ride because it went terrible the other day,” Callow said.
“He’s a Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde horse.
“I haven’t had anything to do with him until I got on him but he controlled the race and won well.”