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Australia

Trinder maps a repeat All Star journey

Group 1 trainer Adam Trinder will keep Mystic Journey’s options open in a quest for back-to-back $5m All Star Miles.

The boom four-year-old mare will contest the Sky Stakes at Launceston on January 27 and Thomas Lyon Stakes on Launceston Cup Day in February, before plans are set in stone for the March 14 All Star Mile at Caulfield.

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Mystic Journey is already back in work less than six weeks after running fifth in the Cox Plate.

The $3.7 million earner pocketed the Thomas Lyon this year before icing a blistering three-year-old campaign with the Australian Guineas and All Star Mile double.

“We’ll have a look how she goes through, whether she runs in a Futurity or Blamey if the timing’s right,” Trinder said.

“She obviously won the Guineas third-up (this year), so it’s a template that’s worked quite well.”

Trinder said the drop in trip to the world’s richest mile suited Mystic Journey better despite gutsy efforts at 2000m in the spring, when fifth in both the Turnbull Stakes and Cox Plate.

“I just feel she finds herself a little bit close (to her limit) over the 2000m at that elite class and probably just left wanting a little bit,” Trinder said.

“She can be four or five pairs back and build (into the race), I think it works a little bit better for her.”

Mystic Journey firmed from $11 to $8 with TAB to be equal favourite for the All Star Mile alongside Kolding ($8) and New Zealand superstar Melody Belle ($8).

Nominations for the All Star Mile close on January 9, with voting to decide the top-10 runners starting on January 16.

Racing Victoria will complete the expanded 15-horse field with up to five wildcards — to be confirmed by March 2.

The winners of the Group 1 Futurity Stakes and Group 2 Blamey Stakes will be guaranteed slots in the All Star Mile as “win and you’re in” features.

New Zealand residents will be eligible to vote in Racing Victoria’s four-week poll — a boost for Kiwi superstar Melody Belle and Te Akau Shark.

“We couldn’t get her into the All Star Mile off the vote last year,” Trinder said.

“She had to win her way in, which if we have to do again we’ll have to do again, but we’d be disappointed if she didn’t command a lot of votes through the attention she’s received.”

Racing Victoria introduced new minimum performance criteria this year in a bid to assemble the best of the best milers.

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Chief handicapper Greg Carpenter welcomed the nominations.

“It will be intriguing to see the tactics adopted this time by trainers and owners,” Carpenter said.

“Whether they nominate several horses from their stables or take a more targeted approach.”

RUNNING A STRONG 1600m WOULD BEGOOD QUESTION

Warrnambool trainer Daniel Bowman says freewheeling Caulfield specialist and Group 1 winner Begood Toya Mother might be too “fierce” to win the All-Star Mile.

Despite his reservations, Bowman still plans to nominate the gelding, a winner of eight of 13 starts — including three of his past four at Caulfield — for the $5 million feature.

Begood Toya Mother will aim at weight-for-age 1400m Group 1 races the C.F. Orr Stakes and Futurity Stakes.

“If he can’t win at 1400m — his pet distance — he’s not going to be able to win at the mile,” Bowman said.

“If he can win one of the two Group 1 lead-ups, then we might roll the dice.”

Begood Toya Mother proved too slick for his rivals in the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes after striking trouble in the Memsie Stakes.

“He’s probably just a bit fierce (for the All-Star Mile),” Bowman said.

“Horses that break 1.22 at 1400m generally don’t stretch to the mile.”

MONEY FOR JOURNEY REPEAT

Early money for Mystic Journey has resulted in the inaugural All-Star Mile winner now becoming an $8 equal favourite at TAB with Melody Belle for the 2020 All-Star Mile to be run at Caulfield on Saturday, March 14.

Mystic Journey completed an amazing three-year-old season when she followed her Australian Guineas win at Flemington on March 2 with a dominant display in the first running of the world’s richest mile race at Flemington two weeks later.

The Adam Trinder-trained mare last ran in the Cox Plate at Moonee Valley on October 26 where she finished fifth, but she has already firmed from $11 to $8 at TAB to win successive All-Star Miles.

TAB AUTUMN ODDS PRE NOMINATIONS

AUSTRALIAN GUINEAS

Flemington, February 29

$8 Alligator Blood, Catalyst, Dalasan and Super Seth

$11 Castelvecchio and Kubrick

$15 Groundswell, Miami Bound, Pancho and Warning

$26+ Others

NEWMARKET HANDICAP

flemington, March 7

$8 Bivouac, Exceedance and Nature Strip

$11 Yes Yes Yes

$15 Cosmic Force, Libertini, Loving Gaby, Osborne Bulls, Pierata, Santa Ana Lane, Sunlight and Trekking

$26+ Others

AUSTRALIAN CUP

Flemington, March 7

$8 Melody Belle

$11 Arcadia Queen, Avilius, Castelvecchio, Mystic Journey and Te Akau Shark

$15 Finche, Harbour Views, Shared Ambition and Vow And Declare

$26+ Others

ALL-STAR MILE

Flemington, March 14

$8 Melody Belle, Mystic Journey

$11 Kolding, Te Akau Shark

$15 Alligator Blood, Arcadia Queen, Catalyst and Super Seth

$26+ Others

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