|Stephanie Thornton scored the biggest win of her burgeoning riding career when she steered The Odyssey to a popular win in Saturday’s $1 million Racing Queensland Magic Millions QTIS Handicap (1300m).|
The 21-year-old delivered a textbook ride on one of Queensland’s pin-up horses, trailing the leading pair before peeling into clear running approaching the 500m.
The Odyssey dashed clear and looked destined for a comfortable win before Stuttering and Boomtown Lass emerged to challenge over the final 100m.
It was a centimetre perfect ride from Thornton with the son of Better Than Ready holding on to win by a nose in a photo finish.
An emotional Thornton said the horse, aboard whom she has now won several feature races, had quickly become one of her favourites.
“He’s been so brilliant to me, I think I’ve won seven races on him,” Thornton said.
“To be honest, I was gutted on the line because I thought I’d got beat but he’s tough and he’s got a will to win.
“1300m sees him out so that was our biggest query today but he just wanted it too bad.”
Trainer Kelly Schweida, who purchased The Odyssey for $30,000 at the 2018 Gold Coast Yearling Sale, said he had doubts about whether the entire could extend his brilliance to 1300m.
Under his guidance, the four-year-old has won 10 races and more than $1.7 million in prizemoney.
“The 59kg and the 1300m is probably his outer limit but she rode him a treat,” Schweida said.
“They took him on so she box-seated and then put him into the race at the right time.
“I’m pretty stoked.”
On Friday, Schweida paid $175,000 for Lot 758, a yearling colt by Better Than Ready out of the Yarramalong Park draft at the 2021 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale.