Mystic prospers in Hellova battle

4 min read

By Bren O'Brien

Mystic Journey has proven herself Tasmania's best galloper and a genuine threat for next month's G1 Australian Guineas with a storming victory in the Listed Magic Millions Thomas Lyons S. at Hobart on Sunday.

The star filly took on reigning dual Tasmanian Horse of The Year Hellova Street (Helike {USA}) in the much-anticipated 'match race' on Hobart Cup day, and despite spotting him at least six lengths at the 600m, was able to power over the top and notch her fourth straight win.

While it wasn't as visually impressive as her win in the Lady Lynette S. at Launceston last time out, the quality of the opposition was much stronger, while she never looked totally suited to the soft Hobart track.

Despite this, Anthony Darmanin never panicked on Mystic Journey, switching her to the very outside and bring her home late to defeat a gallant Hellova Street, who was going for three straight wins in the 1400m race. The consistent Chamois Road (Choisir) was another two lengths back in third.

"I was quietly confident I was going to pick them up, just because I thought they went pretty quick early," Darmanin said.

"Hellova Street gave me a fight, but to her credit she found another gear and kicked." - Jockey, Anthony Darmanin

"I wasn't too concerned, but she probably struggled through the going."

"Once I got to the outside, she really picked up and then she peaked on her run with 50m to go and Hellova Street gave me a fight, but to her credit she found another gear and kicked."

Trainer Adam Trinder said the filly, who likes her runs spaced, would be given three weeks into her next assignment, the G1 Australian Guineas at Flemington on March 2.

"Three weeks between runs is perfect for her and out to the mile," Trinder said.

"She's really going to appreciate the dynamics of Flemington and out to a mile. A nice long straight where she can build, so she's really well placed."

Trainer Adam Trinder (left)

"She will take improvement out of today's run and be spot on for the Guineas."

Mystic Journey, who is also on a campaign towards the $5m All Star Mile, won at Listed and Group 2 company in Melbourne last spring.

She was an $11,000 buy from Armidale Stud as a yearling and has now taken her winnings to over $400,000.

Eastender shows staying superiority

Later on, Denise Martin completed a memorable weekend when the Star Thoroughbreds owned Eastender (Tickets) proved the superior stayer in the $250,000 feature, the G3 TAB Hobart Cup.

Jockey Craig Newitt must have spotted the leaders 15 lengths at the 800 mark, but a decision to cut through towards the inside, while the rest of the field swung wide, proved crucial.

The experienced hoop saved many lengths and Eastender surged through to win comfortably by 1,5l over the Victorian Lamborghini (NZ) (Shinko King {Ire}), with Appmat (Matsqui) close-up in third.

It was Newitt's third Hobart Cup, but his first since returning the Tasmania to ride in 2017, while it was the second Cups success for trainer Barry Campbell.

Martin had celebrated Fiesta's (I Am Invincible) win in the $1m Inglis Sprint at Warwick Farm 24 hours earlier and was on hand to watch her emerging stayer add a second feature Tasmanian Cup for 2019, having won the Devonport Cup last month.

He will aim for the Tassie Trple Crown when he contests the G3 Launceston Cup later this month before a possible tilt at the G2 Adelaide Cup.

"I was never nervous because I'd knew he'd stay," Martin said post race. "It was a fantastic training performance by Barry and his team,"

"I was never nervous because I'd knew he'd stay." - Owner, Denise Martin

"We were a couple of months from giving this horse away as riding horse. He'd shown nothing early and he's now a really good stayer."

Eastender was a $22,000 purchase form the 2015 Tasmanian Sale for Martin and now with his ninth win he has won over $350,000.

Martin is even dreaming of a shot at the G1 Melbourne Cup with the son of Tickets, with the Listed Andrew Ramsden S. in May now a qualifier for local horses.

The Cup meeting was the last on the Elwick track before reconstruction takes place, with a new StrathAyr track to be laid. The plan is to return to racing at the venue in time for the 2020 Hobart Cup, with meetings in the meantime transferred to either Devonport or Launceston.