Trinder weighs up Mystic’s first move
MELBOURNE'S weather and the draining capacity of Caulfield's course proper will decide if ruling Cox Plate favourite Mystic Journey contests the $160,000 Group 3 Bletchingly Stakes (1200m) on Saturday.
Trainer Adam Trinder is hopeful conditions at Caulfield, where the track is rated a slow 5, will improve by Saturday.
But Trinder faces the logistical challenge of having to make a decision on Wednesday before committing to ship the star filly to Melbourne on Thursday night aboard the Spirit Of Tasmania.
If he scuttles plans to run this weekend, Mystic Journey's entire preparation will be delayed by three weeks.
"She is due to travel over on Thursday but I would like to have some kind of understanding by Wednesday as to whether we are pushing ahead or not," Trinder said. "It is possible it could all fall over."
If so, the Australian Guineas and All-Star Mile winner will probably resume in the PB Lawrence (1400m) on August 17 as part of a four-race preparation for the $5 million Cox Plate.
Depending on whether Mystic Journey starts on Saturday or not, other races on her horizon include Group 1 contests the Memsie Stakes (1400m) on August 31 and the Underwood Stakes (1800m) on September 29.
Another race under consideration is the Turnbull Stakes (2000m) on October 5.
Mystic Journey, a trial winner over 800m at Devonport on July 9, will be ridden by regular jockey Anthony Darmanin whenever she resumes.
Mystic Journey has won 10 of her 13 starts, including her past six.
Only one of those wins - the Thomas Lyon Stakes (1400m) in Hobart in February - has come on a rain-affected (soft 5) track.
The Bletchingly Stakes has drawn 20 nominations, including Mackinnon Stakes winner Trap For Fools and fellow Group 1 winner Scales Of Justice.
Meantime, jockey Ben Allen will chase a breakthrough Group 1 success in Macau this weekend.
The Victorian has been granted a two-day licence by the Macau Jockey Club to ride at Saturday's Derby meeting and Sunday's Macau Star Of Sand Stakes fixture.
The Derby (1800m) and Star Of Sand Stakes (1600m) are both at Group 1 level.
Allen, 20, has logged 12 black-type wins - two Group 2s, five Group 3s and five Listed contests - but is yet to prevail at the highest level. He has posted two seconds and two thirds from 25 Group 1 rides.
Allen will be joined in Macau at the weekend by Hong Kong's Matthew Chadwick.
Allen will ride at Sandown on Wednesday before heading overseas.