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Can Mystic Journey Win The Cox Plate?
Mystic Journey may have been defeated in the Makybe Diva Stakes Saturday, but her Cox Plate dream is still alive.
Can the Tasmanian mare deliver a career-best performance in the Cox Plate?
Mystic Journey Can Still Win The Cox Plate
Mystic Journey tasted defeated for the first time since spring last year on Saturday in the Group One Makybe Diva Stakes going down to $101 outsider Gatting in a massive upset.
While the loss broke punter's hearts riding home a potential eighth-straight success, there were a number of factors that went into the mare's first loss in 2019.
Mystic Journey was second-up from a four week spell. She had a bit of a gut buster first-up and has had a rise in distance off what is almost a freshen up.
She drew barrier 10 and during the run, struggled to find fluency as she was pushed forward before being darted back behind gallopers to find cover.
To finish second and sustain a run from the 500m was a very honourable effort, but the question now is, can Mystic Journey win this year's Cox Plate?
She has proven to be one of the better mares in Australia at the moment after winning the Australian Guineas, All Star Mile and the PB Lawrence Stakes. She has also posted a win at Moonee Valley over the mile, so we know she handles the tricky course well.
Gatting, the winner of the Makybe Diva posted a new peak performance compared to his previous ratings and the times that were run were very fast. Mystic Journey's peak rating last prep came in her third and fourth-up runs which in turn will be her Turnbull and Cox Plate runs this preparation.
The question will now be, can Mystic Journey handle the rise in distance.
While she has never ran further than the mile, she has sat three-wide at Flemington over the 1600m trip when wining the All Star Mile.
She will need to prove this again at her next start in the Turnbull Stakes, but assuming that she has been targeted towards a Cox Plate since last year, you would assume trainer Adam Trinder is confident she can run it out.
This year's Cox Plate looks tricky already with two powerful internationals well in the markets.
Lys Gracieux is one of Japan's best mares and has been set for the Cox Plate since early this year, while Danceteria boasts Enable form lines and has a German Group One win.
Mystic Journey will have a big ask to beat these two stars, but she is Australia's darling and has proven in the past that when scenarios are against her, she does come out victorious.
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