Mystic Journey is the early favourite for the Cox Plate. Picture: Getty Images
Mystic Journey is the early favourite for the Cox Plate. Picture: Getty Images

Mystic’s journey could take unexpected turn

ADAM Trinder wants to see his star mare Mystic Journey perform at her best in Saturday's Makybe Diva Stakes at Flemington before he commits to her starting in the Cox Plate.

Trinder said it was 90 per cent certain the Cox Plate was where she was heading but he wants to see how she performed at her first attempt in a Group 1 weight-for-age race.

Trinder said the $7.5 million The Golden Eagle (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens on November 2 against her own age group of four-year-olds was a handy back-up race if he didn't go down the $5 million Cox Plate (2040m) path the week before.

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"The Golden Eagle is the back-up but, at the moment, there'd be only a 10 per cent chance she'd head in that direction compared to 90 per cent for the Cox Plate," Trinder said.

Mystic Journey, who is aiming for her eighth win in a row, hasn't contested a Group 1 weight-for-age race in her career.

"She's against a field of proven weight-for-age performers and it won't be easy," Trinder said. "I just want to see her do it again. It will be a good test.

 

"I'm hopeful she'll participate in the Cox Plate but I need to see her do it again on Saturday against a field of that calibre in a Group 1 weight-for-age race.

Trainer Adam Trinder couldn’t be happier with Mystic Journey heading into the Makybe Diva Stakes. Picture: Getty Images
Trainer Adam Trinder couldn’t be happier with Mystic Journey heading into the Makybe Diva Stakes. Picture: Getty Images

"There should be good speed in the race with Scales Of Justice in it. From her barrier 10, I'd think we'd race midfield."

Trinder assessed her first-up win in the Group 2 Lawrence Stakes at Caulfield as having maintained her form from last year.

"I couldn't say she was any better than when she won the Australian Guineas or the All-Star Mile but I'm hoping she will have improved on that run," he said. "I'm really happy with her. She's taken really good improvement from the Lawrence Stakes and will present better again.

"She had a grass gallop on Tuesday morning and she felt nice on the bridle which is an accurate reflection on how I think she's going."

Trinder has also decided to continue to campaign her from his Tasmanian base (Launceston) for the remainder of the spring rather than prepare her in Victoria which he had considered.

"If it's not broken, why fix it? It's quite an easy thing for her to leave on a Thursday night and arrive in Melbourne on Friday morning. Then leave again on Sunday morning and she's back at home in her paddock that night."

Mystic Journey is $2.25 favourite with TAB Fixed Odds for the Makybe Diva Stakes.

Dalasan scored an impressive first-up win in the Spring Stakes at Morphettville. Picture: Atkins Photography
Dalasan scored an impressive first-up win in the Spring Stakes at Morphettville. Picture: Atkins Photography

MacDonald pins hopes on Dalasan

Veteran Adelaide trainer Leon MacDonald has been a successful visitor over many years to the Melbourne spring carnival and this year he will place his faith in three-year-old colt Dalasan.

Southern Speed, Gold Guru, Rebel Raider, Umrum and Serious Speed have all been MacDonald-trained horses who have made an impact on the Melbourne spring.

"I've got one chance and it's him," MacDonald said. "He'll be aimed at the Caulfield Guineas."

MacDonald wasn't surprised Dalasan ran well first-up in the Spring Stakes at Morphettville, where the three-year-old upstaged Scales Of Justice and Despatch to win the Group 3 sprint.

"He was against two Group 1-winning horses, so that was a big win," MacDonald said. "I've always had a good opinion of him and he faces another challenge on Saturday as there's a lot of depth in that field."

MacDonald co-trains Dalasan with Andrew Gluyas. The colt won his first two starts before he finished an unlucky second in the VRC Sires' Produce Stakes. Dalasan will be ridden by Raquel Clark, who has ridden him to all of his wins.

"She's undefeated on him, so there's no need to take her off," MacDonald said.

After Saturday, MacDonald said Dalasan would contest the Caulfield Guineas Prelude before the Caulfield Guineas. He is also nominated for the Cox Plate.

"It's pie-in-the-sky stuff but if he won the Caulfield Guineas you'd have to think about putting him in it," he said

The trainer said he didn't think Dalasan would be ready for the Victoria Derby.

News Corp Australia


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