Star Tasmanian filly Mystic Journey has delivered on the big stage at Flemington to deliver a first-time Group One win for both her trainer and jockey in the Australian Guineas.
The Adam Trinder-trained Mystic Journey was the $4 favourite in Saturday’s $1 million race for three-year-olds and after darting along the inside early in the straight under jockey Anthony Darmanin, strode clear for a convincing win.
While other Tasmanian horses have won Group One races after being transferred to mainland stables, Mystic Journey is the first still trained in the Apple Isle to win at racing’s elite level since the introduction of the Group system in the late 1970s.
Trinder hails from a famous Tasmanian racing family and was a champion jumps jockey before turning his hand to training about eight years ago.
He said it was an honour to win a Group One at Flemington and the significance of the feat would probably only sink in over the coming days.
“It’s a Group One, they don’t come any bigger,” he said.
“She’s a fantastic filly which makes our assignment a lot easier.
“The team at home do a fantastic job with these horses and it’s good to be able to showcase it on the main stage.
“We didn’t think she was a Group One filly in the spring but we trusted come the autumn, once she strengthened up, she would be.
“Thankfully we were right.”
Mystic Journey defeated Hawkshot ($7) by 2-1/4-lengths with a long neck to Amphitrite ($4.20) third.
The filly was bought for $11,000 as a yearling and has taken her earnings past $1 million with nine wins from 12 starts.
“We bought her and thought she was a lovely cheap little filly that would go out and do a job for us,” Trinder said.
“Not in our wildest dreams did we think that job would be a Group One.”
Mystic Journey is now expected to gain a wild card into the $5 million All-Star Mile at Flemington in two weeks.
Darmanin, 36, said it was an amazing feeling to win his first Group One and also repay the faith of the filly’s connections.
He was later suspended for eight meetings for breaching the whip rules.
Darmanin is based in Victoria but has been travelling to ride at the Tasmanian meetings for the past six seasons.
“It’s just amazing,” he said.
“I never thought I would ever ride in a Group One let alone win one.
“She was a bit timid in the field but once she went past the second horse she just found another gear and it was easy on the line.”