Adam Trinder is confident he has the right horse for the occasion as he prepares to saddle up his first Group One runner in the Australian Guineas at Flemington.
Impressive filly Mystic Journey will break new ground for the Tasmanian trainer in Saturday's $1 million race, having already given the former champion jumps jockey his first win at Group Two level in the Fillies Classic (1600m) at The Valley earlier this season.
Trinder, who has been training less than 10 years and has notched 15 stakes wins, resisted the temptation to send Mystic Journey to the Group One Thousand Guineas as a late entry last spring after her dominant win in a Listed race at Caulfield.
Instead, Mystic Journey easily won the Fillies Classic a couple of weeks later and on Saturday she gets her chance on the big stage having won her past four starts including two at home against older horses this preparation.
“It's really exciting,” Trinder said after arriving at Flemington with Mystic Journey early on Friday.
“Fortunately I haven't really felt or received any pressure leading into it, so I'm just enjoying the ride.
“We bypassed the Group One in the spring because as a spring filly I just felt it was a little bit early for her. We instead went to the Group Two on Cox Plate day and she got the result there.
“But as an autumn three-year-old I think she's strengthened up and she takes her first opportunity against the boys in three-year-old company tomorrow so that will be interesting.
“We hope she's good enough. I think she is.
“Every time I race her she does surprise me, I won't sugar coat that.
“We continue to raise the bar and she keeps jumping it.
“She doesn't over-exert herself at home but race day you see her performances are fantastic.
“We trust that we've got the right filly to come here and be competitive and hopefully do the job for us.”
Mystic Journey was $4.80 on race eve and was being shaded for favouritism by Thousand Guineas winner Amphitrite ($4.60).
Trinder said Mystic Journey travelled well to Melbourne on the overnight ferry from Devonport.
“It was a little bit hotter than what her previous trips over have been but she coped really well,” he said.
He said there was a fan set up for her outside the stable she is being housed in at Flemington.
“So everything is in place to get the little Tassie girl through the Melbourne heat,” he said.
He said Mystic Journey has had a faultless preparation and is excited to race her at the big Flemington circuit for the first time.
“If my theory is right she should present just a little bit better on a big galloping track than what she has on the tracks with short straights,” he said.
“She comes here in peak condition, in my mind, and she's going to give a really good account of herself.”