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Doubts over Tasmanian mare’s All-Star credentials after another significant loss on home soil

3 minute read

Former All-Star Mile winner Mystic Journey was beaten as a short-priced favourite in Tasmania for the second time this year.

Online article from 'The Mercury'.
Online article from "The Mercury".

The All-Star Mile aspirations of former winner Mystic Journey took another big hit when the Tasmanian mare was beaten again as a long odds-on favourite in Sunday's Listed Thomas Lyons Stakes at Hobart.

Two weeks after being toppled as the $1.10 favourite first up, the Adam Trinder-trained gun again failed to fire as a $1.18 elect after she fell to the outstanding Leanne Gaffney-trained Newhart.

Mystic Journey was quiet simply no match for Gaffney's son of Fighting Sun, which cleared out to win by almost four lengths.


The daughter of Needs Further had remained in Tasmania to continue her preparation for the All-Star Mile instead of contesting the CF Orr Stakes at Caulfield on Saturday.

But the decision to remain at home didn't go to plan for the Group 1 winner and Trinder's hopes of chasing a second All-Star Mile triumph now appear in some doubt.

Mystic Journey claimed an unforgettable win in the All-Star Mile in the inaugural running of the $5 million feature at Flemington and was 15th in voting for the race on Sunday afternoon.

Voting will close next weekend with the top-10 in voting guaranteed a spot in the field for the feature.

Mystic Journey remains at $51 with in all-in markets on the All-Star Mile.

Fellow Tasmanian hopeful Still A Star is on track to make the field and sits ninth in voting, more than 1000 votes clear of the 11th placed contender Mugatoo.

Meanwhile, the Patrick Payne-trained Double You Tee captured the Group 3 Hobart Cup under the urging of Melbourne Cup-winning hoop Jye McNeil.


Saturday's Lightning Stakes is set to prove a bubble-burster for some of the nation's top short course horses.

When the 'big dog' of the Australian sprinting ranks Bivouac shows up looking to consolidate his standing down the Flemington straight he won't be having it easy against the likes of Nature Strip, September Run, Fabergino and Pippie.

Bivouac has been brilliant winning the Newmarket and VRC Sprint down the straight but note those races are at 1200m and he's yet to win at 1000m in a couple of attempts.

On the other hand September Run is three-from-three down the straight including two at 1100m but she her only run at 1000m was on debut when a forget run in the Inglis Nursery at Randwick.

On the other hand West Aussie flyer Fabergino has a perfect record over the Flemington 1000m winning her only three starts down the Lightning Stakes course.

She also has an outstanding overall record at 1000m having won nine times from 12 attempts.

And then there is Nature Strip, who on his day is capable of anything but has been beaten at $1.45 first-up when kicking off his past two preparations including last year's Lightning.


Despite being beaten in the Blue Diamond Prelude for the colts and geldings the Cindy Alderson-trained son of Manhattan Rain lost few admirers, including jockey Michael Walker.

Jigsaw was stuck four wide throughout but when he was entitled to weaken out of it the colt had the audacity to dig in and hit the line strongly running his last 600m faster than the winner, which had raced on the fence throughout.

Michael Walker said he was far from disappointed with Jigsaw being beaten for the first time after an emphatic win on debut from Artorius which has since bolted in at Sandown saying the horse was spot on the Blue Diamond.

Certainly being beaten didn't dilute his appeal to most with the TAB keeping him safe at $13 in latest markets.


Coming off the back of his impressive Geelong trial win a week earlier Cox Plate winner Sir Dragonet was the flavour of the day in the Orr Stakes but the bookies got the lot when he was well beaten — but it didn't come as any surprise to some.

Bookies reported a massive go for the Ciaron Maher and David Eustace-trained Sir Dragonet with a late firm from $3.20 into $2.70 which is huge in a Group 1.

On Saturday Timeform Australia handicapper Adam Blencowe had suggested bookies had it wrong and built a case for the Chris Waller-trained Imaging, who arguably should have won instead of finishing second after looming to win off a tough run.

"If I asked some bloke on the street in Ireland who is going to win a 1400-metre race between two Irish horses Sir Dragonet and Imaging, I reckon he'd mark Imaging the more likely of the two," said Blencowe.

Sir Dragonet just couldn't go on the firm track over the shorter distance and eventually finished 9½ lengths in arrears of Imaging in seventh spot.


New Zealand trainer Jamie Richards has made an art of successful assaults on Australian carnivals in recent years and that was yet again the case on Saturday with Probabeel.

The top class mare has now had her last nine starts in Australia winning four of those including the Epsom Handicap with the only failure being her midfield finish in the Cox Plate.

If Saturday's emphatic win in the Geoffrey Bellmaine Stakes over 1200m is anything to go by her record of nine wins from 20 starts and over $1.49m in prizemoney is going to be bolstered significantly in the coming months.

Online article taken from The Mercury.

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