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Plain sailing for Mystic Journey

5 min read

By Bren O'Brien

They will come by planes and trucks and cars to Cox Plate Day at Moonee Valley, but only one horse, the emerging filly Mystic Journey (Needs Further), will have made the trip by boat.

Not so long ago it was The Cleaner (Savoire Vivre {GB}) famously making the trip on the Spirit of Tasmania to contest two Cox Plates, and on Saturday, the perhaps aptly named Mystic Journey will look to turn her sea legs to the Strathayr when she contests the G2 Aquis Farm Fillies Classic at Moonee Valley.

Trainer Adam Trinder described the ferry trip from Devonport to Melbourne as no more than an extended float trip for the filly, who has won five of her eight starts, including a last-start win in the Listed Jim Moloney S. at Caulfield.

The Spirit Of Tasmania

"It's very similar to an Adelaide trip for the Melbourne trainers." - Mystic Journey's trainer, Adam Trinder

"We train at Devonport, which is only five minutes from where the Spirit of Tasmania leaves from. She loaded up at 8 o'clock last night and was at Tony McEvoy's stables in her box at six o'clock this morning. It's very similar to an Adelaide trip for the Melbourne trainers," Trinder told TDN AusNZ.

"It was very stress free. She went straight on the truck, five-minute trip, then straight on the boat and straight from the boat to Flemington. Ten minutes and she was in her box at Flemington, so she handles it really well."

Mystic Journey's ability to cope is helped by a ready-made box in the truck, which gives her four bays to stretch out across during the trip.

"This is her fourth trip to Melbourne and we’ve got a good understanding of how she copes with it. Some horses don’t cope excessively well but they are a minority. She takes no stress out of it whatsoever. She's a good little traveller," he said.

Spacing her runs

The one impact the boat trip does have is that Trinder has had to space her runs. But the trainer feels the fresh approach, even getting to 1600m for the first time, works well for her.

"She puts everything into her runs. She goes out there and she runs times, so I don’t think a tight racing schedule really suits her," he said.

"She puts everything into her runs. She goes out there and she runs times, so I don’t think a tight racing schedule really suits her." - Adam Trinder

"She's five weeks between runs by design. She was a month between runs prior to her last win. Just with the travel, we elected to keep her runs nice and spaced. She's responded really well. We've got the right tools there at home to stimulate her enough off that stretch."

"She galloped really well on the course proper at Launceston last Friday. She's ticked along well. She's arrived in Melbourne this morning and settled into Tony McEvoy's like a second home, so she’ll go there and give a good account of herself."

Buying at the right time

Mystic Journey has already returned nearly $195,000 in prizemoney on an $11,000 yearling investment from her owner Wayne Roser. Trinder sought her out at the Tasmanian Yearling Sales based on his impression of Leodoro (Jayemzed), her older half-brother.

"We bought her at the right price at the right time." - Adam Trinder

"I had him as a 2-year-old and trained him up. The Zitos, who owned him, didn’t have any horses in training in Melbourne at the time. He ended up going to Mick Kent which was all well and good," he said.

"He'd only won a couple of races before I bought this filly, and I was able to get her for only $11,000 and post the sale. Since then, he won the Sale Quality and won in town. We bought her at the right price at the right time."

Mystic Journey

Trinder admits he wants to pick his targets with Mystic Journey and Saturday's race appealed as he felt the better Group 1 fillies would be headed elsewhere.

"I was hopeful it might come up a bit lighter than the other fillies' races might have been and I think it potentially has. She gets a good opportunity," he said.

From there it will be back on the ferry to Tasmania for a well-earned rest.

"Win, lose or draw, that will do her for her spring campaign." - Adam Trinder

"Win, lose or draw, that will do her for her spring campaign. She's had four trips over here and I think that's enough for a 3-year old filly. Her owner, Wayne Roser, still wants to be racing her when she's a 5-year-old mare, so I don't think there's any need to get to the bottom of her at this stage of her life," he said.

"Saturday will give us a good assessment of where we head in the future, whether she preps up and catches the tail end of the summer carnival in Tasmania or whether she potentially heads to Adelaide, or possibly Sydney, We'll get a level on her at least."