Horse Racing

Odeon to have crucial jockey change for Ballarat Cup test

Flemington trainers Mathew Ellerton and Simon Zahra will lose a crucial element for consistent galloper Odeon’s bid for victory in Saturday’s Bendigo Cup.

Melbourne jockeys’ premiership leader Jamie Kah has ridden Odeon at his last five starts but won’t be at Ballarat while she serves a careless riding suspension from Melbourne Cup week.

Kah has steered Odeon into the first four placings at his last four outings but Zahra said the gelding could have won at least one of those runs with even luck.

Odeon raced wide throughout when second to Future Score in the Cranbourne Cup before he was left in front a long way from home in a Listed race at Flemington on Melbourne Cup day.

“He probably should have won the Cranbourne Cup when he drew out and was three-wide for the entire race,” Zahra said.

“They ran along at Flemington last time, which set it up for the swoopers, and he got to the front a bit soon when the leader started to drop off.”

Odeon will attempt to break through the million-dollar earning barrier in the Ballarat Cup. Photo: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images.Source:Getty Images

Odeon will go into the Ballarat Cup at his fifth run this time in but Zahra said the now seven-year-old had taken time to reach peak fitness.

Zahra was confident Odeon would prove hard to beat at his second spring target race, in which he expected the son of Zacinto to carry a light weight.

“We’ve always wanted to run him in the Cranbourne and Ballarat Cups this time in and he’s going well enough,” Zahra said.

“It looks a good race but he’ll be well weighted down near the minimum.”

Daniel Moor is expected to take over from Kah on Odeon on Saturday.

Odeon was one of 37 entries for the $500,000 Ballarat Cup on Monday. Dual Ballarat Cup winner Kiwia is among the nominations as are Group 1 winners Harlem and Kings Will Dream.

Originally published asBig change for Odeon’s Ballarat Cup test

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