Barriers a double winner for Steve O’Dea

The importance of good barriers has been emphasised by trainer Steve O’Dea’s winning double with Beatniks and Candika at Eagle Farm.

Until Saturday, Beatniks ($5) had not won since March last year but had no luck in recent starts.

She got up in the last stride to beat Friendly Dragon ($19) by a nose in the Makers Mark Open (1600m).

“Today from the inside barrier she got the run of the race and was able to fight on well,” O’Dea said.

“She has run some good races in better company but a lot of black type races for fillies and mares in Queensland are at shorter trips.

“She probably needs 1600 metres and there is an open handicap over the distance at Eagle Farm in a fortnight and then we will go from there.”

Candika, who was third in the 2016 Magic Millions Classic, had not won since December 2015 but was well placed under the weight scale in the Class Three Plate (1500m).

“She had a bad barrier last start when she couldn’t catch the leaders. But today from a good barrier we could ride her a lot closer,” O’Dea said.

“She was entitled to win at the weights but we will look for something better for her.”

Fellow trainer Kelly Schweida got a timely boost to his health and a belated birthday present when stayer Outraged ($12) won the Cascade Hcp (2200m).

Schweida underwent knee surgery earlier this week and celebrated his 59th birthday on Friday.

“Kelly hopes to be up and around in two weeks. He is in a bit of pain but the operation went well,” stable representative Hayley Nicholls said.

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