If Eclair Mystic is going to successfully fly the Aussie flag in Macau on Friday Night he’ll have to do so with what could be the toughest lead up any horse could have.
The Robert Smerdon trained four year old is in Asia to contest the Macau Sand Premier Cup after earning his way in through with an impressive career to date.
It will be the first time he races in the clockwise direction, the first time he races on a sand track and the first time he races over 1300m.
As if that wasn’t difficult enough his journey to get there over the past week has been simply hell.
His odyssey began back on November 5th when he was readied to leave for Sydney.
To get there took 10 and a half hours in a float before being loaded onto the flight.
Once in the air it was an eight hour trip before another hour stuck on the tarmac in Hong Kong.
From there while still in his box he was picked up and put on a barge which would see him through to his end destination.
That barge took another eight and a half hours before finally being unloaded in Macau.
It was far from freedom though as for quarantine reasons he’s locked in a box by himself, the only horse in the facility that can house up to 20.
Even track work is a solo affair as he’s only permitted onto the circuit once all others have left.
With this sort of lead up to win on Friday night seems to be a monumental ask and Smerdon is well aware of it.
“He hasn’t seen another horse since he left our stables,” Smerdon said.
Mark Zahra will travel from Australia to pick up the ride in a race where on records alone Eclair Mystic would be a huge chance.
He’s the third highest rated horse in the Group 1 event from a career that’s seen him win six times from 10 starts.
He’ll be second up for this prep after finishing midfield down the 1200m straight track at Flemington in the MSS Security Sprint.