Mystic Journey has already taken Anthony Darmanin on the ride of his career but the jockey hopes there is plenty more to come as he prepares to continue his association with the star filly in her highly anticipated return to racing.
The Adam Trinder-trained Mystic Journey has risen to prominence during 2018/19, winning her past six starts stretching back to last spring, with Darmanin aboard for all her wins.
Mystic Journey’s unbeaten autumn preparation included a Group One win in the Australian Guineas – a first for both Trinder and Darmanin – and victory in the inaugural $5 million All-Star Mile, both at Flemington.
The filly is scheduled to resume in Saturday’s Group Three Bletchingly Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on the final weekend of her three-year-old season with the weight-for-age race a kick-off point for a preparation which could culminate in the Cox Plate in October.
Darmanin is yet to jump aboard Mystic Journey in the build-up to her return but says he can’t wait for the Bletchingly, and the spring ahead with the 2019 Cox Plate favourite.
“It’s the best journey that I’ve ever been on so hopefully she can take me on another journey this preparation and onwards and upwards for the Cox Plate,” Darmanin said.
“So that’s what I’m looking forward to. But as long as she comes out next Saturday and just runs very well, I’ll be very happy.
“If she wins it’s a bonus but we just want her to obviously run really well.
“Chris (Graham) trialled her the other day and I obviously watched the trial and she trialled quite impressively.
“I’m pretty sure Adam is very happy with her, so I just leave it all up to him.”
Mystic Journey flashed home from last to win over 1100m first-up last campaign in Tasmania and despite winning much bigger races before and since, the filly’s jockey still rates that performance highly.
“That was her most impressive win I think, still to this day,” Darmanin said.
“She wasn’t entitled to win that day at Launceston first-up. She drew barrier one, I had to get back to last and go around them and Launceston is not a very big straight.
“Her turn of foot that night was actually explosive.
“If she puts that performance in first-up again I’m pretty sure she’ll be very competitive.”