Odeon will back up in the Emirates stakes, four days after his win on Melbourne Cup day.
A successful Melbourne Cup carnival could get a whole lot better for co-trainers Mathew Ellerton and Simon Zahra if Odeon can cause an Emirates Stakes upset.
The Flemington trainers are preparing to run the four-year-old for the second time this week in Saturday’s $2 million weight-for-age race on his home track after his two-length win in a Listed 1800m race on Tuesday.
Zahra knows it’s a big step up again but believes the gelding can handle it and wouldn’t be surprised if the four-year-old runs a big race in his toughest test yet.
“He’s not there to make up the numbers, that’s for sure,” Zahra said.
“Whether he’s a weight-for-age horse just yet, that’s probably the key.
“But he’ll learn a lot out of it.”
Odeon formed part of a winning double for the stable on Tuesday while stablemate Linguist won on Thursday.
Zahra said the Group One race had been an option for Odeon, along with the Eclipse Stakes at Sandown next week, depending on how he came through Tuesday’s race which was his first start for 20 days since winning at Caulfield.
“He’s pulled up really well,” Zahra said.
“We’ve cotton-woolled him a lot, so it’s time to throw him in the deep end a little bit.
“He’s probably not quite a weight-for-age horse as yet, but he needed that run the other day.
“He was just a bit on the tubby side and had a good blow and he’s pulled up unbelievably.”
This year’s South Australian Derby placegetter is at $14 and will be ridden by Chris Symons who has won three races on Odeon, including his past two.
“I think he’s a good horse,” Zahra said.
“He’s still probably this preparation away.
“He’s just learning what it’s all about. I’m keen to go to the Caulfield Cup next year, so we’ve just taken our time with him and there’s no rush.
“You’ve just got to season them up a bit.”