It was billed as a match race between the reigning champ Hellova Street and rising star filly Mystic Journey who were pitted against each other for the first time in the Magic Millions Thomas Lyons classic and the race lived up to expectations.
For the punters, the outcome was not a surprise with Mystic Journey confirming her status as the state’s best sprinter-miler when she powered home from last to score a decisive win over champion Hellova Street in the $100,000 Listed weight-for-age race over 1400m at TAB Park Elwick in Hobart yesterday.
Mystic Journey ($1.55) was facing her toughest assignment but punters rallied for the Adam Trinder-trained filly to send her around the $1.55 favourite while Hellova Street drifted slightly to $3.10.
Jockey Anthony Darmanin allowed Mystic Journey to settle at the rear of the seven-horse field while rank outsider Weekend Whisky ($101) set a solid pace with Hellova Street cruising in second place to the home turn.
When Hellova Street, with Jason Maskiell aboard, kicked two lengths clear on straightening Mystic Journey was eight lengths away but starting to lengthen stride.
But when Darmanin gave his filly one tap on the rump she responded and collared Hellova Street in the shadows of the post and went on to defeat him by a half-length and was eased up on the line.
Interstate invader Chamois Road was third but only just in advance of Blaze Forth.
It was Mystic Journey’s toughest test but she handled the assignment with consummate ease.
“The race was billed as a match race between my filly and Hellova Street and that is what eventuated,” Trinder said.
“I thought it was going to be the best race we’ve seen in Tasmania in a long time and it was just that and thankfully Mystic Journey was able to do the job.
“She keeps improving with every start and to give Hellova Street that big a start and run him down on his home turf was quite an amazing effort, especially as it was on unsuitable ground today.”
Trainer Adam Trinder and owner Wayne Roser embrace after Mystic Journey wins the Thomas Lyons.
Owner Wayne Roser was understandably elated and delivered an emotional speech at the presentation ceremony.
“Horses are wonderful creatures and they have the ability to bring out the best in people and Mystic Journey definitely has that knack,” Roser said.
“I feel privileged to be taken on this wonderful ride and I’m looking forward to where the journey takes me next.”
Mystic Journey will head to the Group 1 Australian Guineas over 1600m at Flemington on March 2 and Trinder is confident she has what it takes to win the race.
“Her main mission this preparation has always been the Australian Guineas and after what she did today I’m even more confident she will make her presence felt in that race.”
Mystic Journey also is a candidate to run in the $5 million All-Star Mile at Flemington on March 16 but as it is a popularity race with 10 of the 14 final starters decided by votes from the public she will be relying on Tasmanians to get behind her and vote her into the race.
Mystic Journey (Anthony Darmanin) is led back to the unsaddling enclosure by owner Wayne Roser and strapper Bronte Page
Darmanin was again full of praise for the filly.
“We thought her win in Launceston last start was amazing but this win went to another level of amazing,” Darmanin said.
“Adam told me to just trust her and not worry if we were out the back and running last because he was sure the filly was ready for the race.
“As always he was right and when I asked her to find and run down Hellova Street it was electrifying when she released.”
“She is an amazing horse and I’m sure we haven’t seen the best of her.”
Hellova Street lost no admirers as he works towards an All-Star Mile start.
The Scott Brunton-trained gelding gave his all in his bid to take his stake earnings beyond $1 million but was beaten by a better horse on the day to leave him just a few thousand dollars short of the milestone that he looks set to reach at his next outing in the Mowbray Stakes over 1600m in Launceston at the end of the month.
Hellova Street and Mystic Journey received hundreds of votes at yesterday’s Cup meeting courtesy of a vote collecting campaign by Tasracing.
A number of helpers with hand-held devices collected votes for each horse and both had their vote totals boosted from the exercise.
Social Media went crazy after the race with some comments referring to Mystic Journey as a “Tassie’s little Winx”.
Watch Mystic Journey win the 2019 Magic Millions Thomas Lyons below: