Moon to get look at Valley before McKenzie Stakes 2015

Group One placegetter Odyssey Moon will have a familiarisation gallop at Moonee Valley in preparation for his planned return in the Listed McKenzie Stakes.

Damien Oliver, who rode Odyssey Moon in two Group One races in the autumn, is booked for the ride in Saturday’s 1200m race and he will gallop the colt on Tuesday morning.

Trainer Rod Northam said the hit-out would be the deciding factor but he expected the son of Snitzel to work well on the tight track.

“He’ll do a bit of work tomorrow at Moonee Valley and as long as he works satisfactorily there he’ll run on Saturday,” Northam said.

Odyssey Moon won at Randwick on debut in December was placed in four of his six autumn starts in Sydney including a dead-heat with Rageese for second in the Group One Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) won by Pride Of Dubai.

He was beaten just over two lengths when eighth in the Golden Slipper and finished sixth in the Champagne Stakes on either side of his Group One placing.

Northam said Odyssey Moon had grown and developed and the Caulfield Guineas was a target.

“You’d have to think that if he’s improved he deserves a chance in a Caulfield Guineas,” the trainer said.

“And I’m pretty sure he’ll run a strong mile.”

Odyssey Moon has had two barrier trials in Sydney and needed to be urged along between runners when third in his most recent over 1045m.

“I think we’ll put the blinkers back on him first-up just to really make sure he switches on,” Northam said.

Odyssey Moon arrived in Melbourne on Saturday and Northam said the trip away to new surroundings had also switched the colt on ahead of his return.

Northam is yet to have a Melbourne winner from limited starters but is hoping Odyssey Moon can tick that off the list, and he’s excited to have him in Melbourne this spring.

“I think he showed enough as a two-year-old that if he can improve just a couple of lengths he’s right there with the best ones,” he said.

“He’s probably a real genuine Group One contender, so I’m very excited to have him.”

Odyssey Moon is among 22 nominations for the McKenzie Stakes for colts and geldings, while the Listed Carlyon Stakes (1000m) has attracted 20 nominations headlined by the David Hayes and Tom Dabernig-trained Gregers.

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