Reigning All-Star Mile champion Mystic Journey will aim to defend her crown at Caulfield next year after trainer Adam Trinder nominated her for the 2020 edition of the world’s richest mile race.
The four-year-old, a winner of 11 races in a glittering career spanning 17 starts, is already back in work at Trinder’s Spreyton stables as the Tasmanian plots a path towards the $5 million spectacle at Caulfield on Saturday, 14 March 2020.
Whilst Mystic Journey fell short of adding to her tally of Group 1 wins during the Victorian Spring Racing Carnival, finishing runner-up in the Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) and fifth in both the TAB Turnbull Stakes (2000m) and the Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m), Trinder was nonetheless proud of her efforts and is confident the mare affectionately known as ‘Betty’ can recapture her best form in the autumn.
Although her trainer is yet to map out a precise program for Mystic Journey, an $11,000 bargain buy who has accrued more than $3.7 million in prizemoney, she is likely to kick off her campaign in her home state in the new year.
The Listed Thomas Lyons Stakes, a weight-for-age race over 1400m on Hobart Cup day on 9 February, will be one of her main lead-up races before she sets sail across the Tasman Sea on the Spirit of Tasmania for her autumn assignments in Melbourne.
They could include either a run in the Group 1 Futurity Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield or the Group 2 Blamey Stakes (1600m) at Flemington – both ‘win and you’re in races’ for The 2020 All-Star Mile – before defending her title in the second edition of Australia’s only fan-voted race.
“Mystic Journey has been back in training for a week now and, whilst it is still very early stages, I’m really happy with how she has spelled,” said Trinder.
“We’re now looking forward to her next campaign, which will more than likely culminate in The All-Star Mile at Caulfield in March.
“I expect her to have two starts here in Tasmania, after which she will most likely head over to Melbourne for one start before The All-Star Mile.”
Whilst Mystic Journey was reliant on a wildcard to gain a start in the inaugural All-Star Mile, Trinder is confident that, given her increased profile and popularity both in Victoria and her native Tasmania, she will poll enough votes this time round to finish inside the all-important top 10.
“We couldn’t quite get her into The All-Star Mile off the fans vote last year, but at the time she wasn’t that well-known outside Tasmania,” Trinder said.
“She had to win her way in, which she did through the Australian Guineas. If we finish outside the top 10 and have to do it again this time, then we’re obviously prepared to do that but I would be surprised and even a little disappointed if she didn’t receive a lot of votes after her performances in Melbourne in the autumn.”
Mystic Journey has joined her fellow Group 1 winners Fierce Impact (Matthew Smith), Mr Quickie (Phillip Stokes) and Scales of Justice (Lindsey Smith), plus a trio of high-class raiders from New Zealand – Melody Belle, Te Akau Shark (both Jamie Richards) and Catalyst (Clayton Chipperfield) – in the nomination list for The 2020 All-Star Mile.
Nominations for The All-Star Mile close at 12pm on Thursday, 9 January, with the voting period due to begin the following Thursday (16 January).