Australian Guineas winner Mystic Journey is challenging last start Futurity Stakes winner Alizee for favouritism for the $5m All-Star Mile (1600m) at Flemington on Saturday.
The James Cummings trained Alizee had been the long-time favourite for the inaugural running of the All-Star Mile and is clinging onto the top spot in the betting at $3.90 just ahead of the Tassie champ Mystic Journey at $4 at Ladbrokes.com.au.
Both the filly and the mare are last start Group 1 winners with Mystic Journey beating the three year olds in the $1m Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington on March 2 while Alizee claimed her third Group 1 win with a resounding victory in the $500,000 Yulong Futurity Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield the previous week.
Mystic Journey returned to Adam Trinder’s Tasmanian stables following her Group 1 victory and has arrived safely back at Tony McEvoy’s Flemington stables in Melbourne today ready to take on the older horses at weight for age.
“She is really doing Tasmania proud, a lot of people are getting behind her, which is really pleasing to see because the public has struggled to connect with racing in Tasmania at times,” Trinder told racing.com.
“I feel everyone is really connecting with this filly, she is bringing racing back to the people and doing a terribly good job of it.”
Trinder keeps to the same travelling schedule for Mystic Journey who crosses the Bass Straight in the Spirit Of Tasmania which departs the Apple Isle for Melbourne from Devonport which is very close to Trinder’s Spreyton’s stables.
“She effectively travels (on the boat) in a portable stable, we open up the whole back of the truck, she eats and drinks throughout the course of the evening, it is exactly the same as a night at home for her except she is travelling 380km.
“She left last night at 8:30pm and arrived here at 6:30am, so it is a 10-hour trip door-to-door, which isn’t overly taxing, especially with the processes we’ve implemented, she eats well and she is nice and settled, it has worked well for her.
“I was confident I could take her home and she would settle better in her home environment, then I could fill her back up physically, which is the way it has transpired.
“I am very happy with the decision to do that, she went home, straight in the feed bin and was really content, she arrives back here in good order.
“I haven’t had to have too much pressure on her, she won over a mile there a fortnight ago so her fitness levels are fantastic, she is bright and buoyant about herself, she has a good colour about her coat, she is going to run well.”
Mystic Journey had the luxury of the rails draw in the Australian Guineas but has to contend with the visitor’s draw this week after coming up with barrier sixteen in the original draw of fourteen plus four emergencies and if there are no more scratchings in the All-Star Mile, the filly will jump from gate thirteen.
Regular rider Anthony Darmanin gets the ride again and will be looking for plenty of luck in the early stages to find some cover in the fourteen horse field.
Alizee has also drawn awkwardly and is likely to jump from barrier ten with Hugh Bowman in the saddle again.
The Terry Kelly trained Foundry failed to pass a second inspection by Racing Victoria Vets and was ruled out on Friday Morning which allowed first emergency Le Romain to sneak into the top fourteen horse field.
Le Romain is currently marked at $15 and will jump from the inside gate with Dwayne Dunn to ride.