Mallyon: Journey may be risk for Tassie champ
THIS is Mystic Journey's biggest test.
And Saturday's $500,000 Turnbull Stakes could have $5 million implications for the Cox Plate-bound mare.
It's not so much her opposition - although Mr Quickie did catch the eye last start flashing into third place in the Makybe Diva Stakes - but the 2000m itself.
I think she'll get it, and win, but it's always a doubt until they've done it.
REBOUND: MYSTIC JOURNEY TO BOUNCE BACK
The barrier (nine) is tricky, and there should be speed on with Trap For Fools, Finche and Hartnell pressing forward.
If I were riding on Saturday, I'd be trying to tuck in three or four back on the rail, and to switch her off early.
She went back, sat wide and looped the field to win the All Star Mile. If she does that again, she won't win.
I really think she needs the softest run she can possibly get to ensure she runs the distance.
She's got tremendous will to win but I think she'll need every ounce of it to still be the Cox Plate favourite at 4.30pm.
If you took Gatting out of the Makybe Diva Stakes, she would have won by a length, and probably would have shortened even more in the Cox Plate.
But getting beaten by Gatting ... please!
If she fails in the Turnbull Stakes, I can't see her remaining the Cox Plate favourite. This afternoon will make or break her for the big race.
Yes, she's won 11 of 15 starts, including the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m), but stop the comparisons to Winx right now.
It is unfair on Mystic Journey and trainer Adam Trinder.
We saw this last start when the online trolls and disgruntled punters came out of the woodwork saying dreadful things about him and the mare.
It's not going to be a walk in the park on Saturday, but I'm sticking with her star quality.
She doesn't know how to run a bad race and until she does, I'll be with her.
And maybe Hartnell.
How could you not? He's just so honest and bolted in when he won this race in 2016.
I've tipped him the past two races; he hasn't let me down but he hasn't won either.
He's such an honest horse, being beaten 1.8 lengths, 1.7, 1.25 and 0.75 in his past four runs.
You could make a case he was a shade unlucky not to finish closer to Mystic Journey in the P.B. Lawrence first up.
You cannot leave him out.
MALLYON'S 12 SPRING HOT SHOTS
Mystic Journey, $2.80, Turnbull Stakes, Flemington, today
Kubrick, $9, Caulfield Guineas, October 12
Flit, $2.50, Thousand Guineas (Caulfield), October 12
Constantinople, $11, Caulfield Cup, October 14
Santa Ana Lane, $6, The Everest (Randwick), October 19
Nature Strip, $6, Manikato Stakes, The Valley, October 25
Lys Gracieux, $6, Cox Plate, The Valley, October 26
Shadow Hero, $2.50, Victoria Derby, Flemington, November 2
Arcadia Queen, $3, Golden Eagle, Rosehill Gardens, November 2
Libertini (TBA) Coolmore Stakes, Flemington, November 2
Finche, $13, Melbourne Cup, Flemington, November 5
Emeralds, $15, Oaks, Flemington, November 7