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Odeon races to Derby favouritism

Zacinto gelding Odeon has shortened to as low as $3 to win this season's G1 South Australian Derby after a runaway win against the older horses at Caulfield yesterday.

Sitting mid-field in the early running under a patient ride from jockey Katelyn Mallyon, Odeon rolled around the field on the turn before streaking away from his rivals in the $80,000 Sky High Mt Dandenong Handicap (2000m). Co-trainers Simon Zahra and Mathew Ellerton were understandably ecstatic with the win, the perfect trial leading into the gelding’s biggest test to date in a fortnight’s time. The Flemington trainers decided Odeon's best Derby lead-up was to remain home in Melbourne yesterday rather than undertaking another interstate trip to South Australia for the Gr.3 Chairman's Stakes (2030m). “He ran through the line well and he’s a natural athlete,” said Ellerton. "We resisted the temptation to go back to Adelaide and raced on our home deck. Hopefully he's cherry ripe in a fortnight." Since being gelded after the spring, Odeon has won three of his four starts this campaign with his only defeat coming in the Port Adelaide Guineas, in which he was unlucky to have a protest dismissed after the winner laid in on him continually down the straight before a narrow defeat. The training duo added a fourth Zacinto youngster to the stable just last week at the NZB South Island Sale, after Zahra undertook a trip to Christchurch specifically to buy the progeny of Zacinto and to inspect the exciting young stallion at Inglewood Stud. Given Odeon's meteorologic rise, he is understandably taken with Zacinto, who is currently New Zealand's Leading Second Season Sire by both earnings and winners. A 2017 service fee for Zacinto will be announced in the near future.

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