Smart three-year-old The Odyssey is the latest example of trainer Kelly Schweida’s ability to find a bargain buy as the gelding heads towards another big win.
The Odyssey will move within sight of $1 million in earnings if he can win the $300,000 Three-Year-Old The Jewel (1200m) at the Gold Coast.
The gelding won the $500,000 juvenile version of The Jewel last year.
The Jewel races are seen as the unofficial grand final to show the best Queensland-bred young horse in the state.
The Odyssey, who went on to win the Queensland two-year-old of the year for 2018-19, has won six races and $746,850 in prize money – a great return on the $30,000 Schweida paid for him as a yearling.
Schweida has consistently been able to get the best out of cheap buys.
He has been among the top 10 metropolitan trainers in Queensland from a mid-sized team for more than a decade and along the way has won 30 feature races including two Group Ones.
“I have had some luck with the Queensland sales and they are always plenty of value,” he said.
Schweida was attracted to The Odyssey because he is by the sire Better Than Ready whom he trained.
He always felt Better Than Ready could have been a Group One horse if it hadn’t been for injury problems.
Schweida also hopes The Odyssey can go on to Group races in the coming seasons.
“I don’t think we have seen the best of him yet. I would like to ride him off the pace as we were able to do with Better Than Ready,” he said.
“He has been leading or on the pace in his wins and around the Gold Coast it will probably be the same. But we will get a chance to try him from further back at some stage.”
The prospect of rain doesn’t worry Schweida because The Odyssey has won twice on wet tracks.
Apprentice Stephanie Thornton will ride The Odyssey after Jim Orman elected to ride Gem Of Scotland.