Classy Tassie mares Mystic Journey and Still A Star did all their connections could have hoped for on resuming last Saturday, filling the minor placings in the Group 2 Let’s Elope Stakes behind a rock-hard race-fit Turaath at Flemington.
Mystic Journey unleashed some of the fastest closing sectionals of the meeting after settling worse than midfield to gain second prize while Still A Star battled away well after enjoying a nice trail just off the pace to secure third position.
The pair are due to clash again in the Rose of Kingston Stakes at the same track on October 2, with their main goal this campaign the Group 1 Empire Rose on Victoria Derby day, October 30 — a race in which Mystic Journey was very unlucky last season.
Their respective trainers, Adam Trinder and Bill Ryan, completed a positive weekend at Devonport on Sunday, with Trinder notching a winning double from just three runners and Ryan successful with his only representative at the meeting.
Trinder opened his account with lightly raced four-year-old Incriminate, who finished off strongly despite being posted wide without cover under Brendon McCoull to break his maiden over 1150 metres first up from a spell.
Promising filly Miss Tuppence completed Trinder’s double, coming from just off the pace for a soft victory in the benchmark 60 handicap over 1009 metres with Daniel Ganderton in the saddle.
The daughter of Capitalist had proved disappointing as an odds-on favourite when resuming and was a noted drifter in betting on Sunday, easing from $2.60 to $6.50, but showed the class that saw her stakes-placed as a juvenile in her initial campaign.
McCoull was also aboard Ryan’s victor, Red Letter Lady, who returned from a break in fine style, coming from just off the pace to take the benchmark 66 handicap over 1150 metres.
The daughter of Wordsmith proved competitive in the Group 3 Bow Mistress last summer and that race, as well as the Group 3 Vamos, looms as a likely target for the sparingly raced five-year-old this time in.
Last season’s top local three-year-old filly Hela begins her spring campaign at Caulfield this weekend, where she’ll be tackling the opener, the PFD Food Services for NJT Handicap, a benchmark 78 over 1200 metres.
The Night Of Thunder filly was unbeaten from seven Tasmanian runs in her first prep before failing in the Group 1 Australasian Oaks at Morphettville at the end of that campaign.
The Scott Brunton-trained mare will no doubt be peaking over further but draws kindly in gate five and is advantaged by the two-kilo claim for Tahlia Hope.
She’s sure to be playing a role in the finish.