Friday, August 16, 2019

A Hint of Spring & Mystic’s Journey Begins

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Mystic Journey winning the Australian Guineas - 2 March 2019

After the seemingly endless grey days of winter it will be a pleasant change of scene to head to Caulfield on Saturday for the Group 2 P B Lawrence Stakes meeting. The weather is forecast to be a relatively balmy 17°C for the afternoon and, with any luck, the sun may even shine on the track.

The main attraction of the day will of course be star Tasmanian mare Mystic Journey beginning her run to the Cox Plate. She has had two trials in her home State, both of which she won easily, so it will be no surprise if she is successful in the P B Lawrence Stakes. In a way I am hoping she doesn’t win, considering the seeming curse on Lawrence Stakes winners who in recent years have failed to win again through the spring racing season. As the track is likely to be on the soft side, a surface on which  Mystic Journey is not as effective, she may miss the curse and run a creditable place.

A rather good field has accepted for the race, most notably the evergreen Hartnell who won this race in 2017. Also in the picture are Group 1 winners Harlem, Trap for Fools and Kenedna, along with the likes of Fifty Stars and Cliff’s Edge and the intriguing Neufbosc, a French stayer having his first start in Australia.

The support card contains several interesting races, especially the Group 3 Quezette Stakes and Vain Stakes, where three year old Guineas aspirants will be kicking off their spring campaigns.

As usual the fillies Quezette Stakes looks to have a more classy field with Blue Diamond Stakes winner Lyre being the leading contender and other potential stars like Exhilarates, Sizzlefly and Lankan Star.

Last year’s Quezette Stakes was won by Sunlight, who went on to win three Group 1 races and is being aimed at The Everest this spring, so I doubt we’ll see her in Melbourne as she’ll be building up to The Everest in Sydney.

Only six colts will tackle the Vain Stakes, the top picks being Dubious and Bivouac with Sebrakate and Star Surprise also in with a chance.

I’m going to take my time getting to Caulfield anticipating arriving around 2.00pm in plenty of time for the Vain Stakes.

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