Adam Trinder hopes the stimulation of a barrier trial at Hobart will sharpen up stable star Mystic Journey before the trainer makes a final call on the Group One winner’s return in the William Reid Stakes.
Mystic Journey had a 900m-trial at Hobart on Thursday and closed late for second in the three-horse field in her first public appearance since running fifth in the Cox Plate (2040m) last October.
An infection in a leg in the early stages of Mystic Journey’s build-up this campaign forced Trinder to change plans with the four-year-old mare whose original autumn target was a defence of the $5 million All-Star Mile (1600m) on Saturday week.
Instead he focused on making sure she was 100 per cent fit before preparing her for the Group One William Reid (1200m) at The Valley on March 20.
He rated Thursday’s trial “sound” but also admitted he would have preferred to see her sharper early in the hit-out heading to a 1200m Group One race.
“It was a 900 metre trial and she was really good the last 200 metres,” Trinder told AAP.
“She jumped and put her head on her chest and came right back out of a tactical position over the short journey.
“I trust the short, sharp stimulation of the trial will sharpen her up but heading into a William Reid it will need to sharpen her up as well.”
Trinder says the plan and hope is for Mystic Journey to resume in the William Reid, if she improves off the back of the trial, which he believes she will.
“She’ll probably go away for a nice grass gallop next Saturday morning and if I’m happy with her there, in nine days she’ll get her opportunity to kick off in a 1200 metre Group One,” he said.
“If we don’t think she’s going to do herself any justice over that short journey we’ll revise and come up with another plan.”