Mystic Journey
  • Was Makybe Diva’s loss a major setback, or is her prep still on track?
  • How Cameron O’Brien found and backed the $101 chance that beat her

A couple of the Champion Bets racing analysts opted to oppose hype horse Mystic Journey in Saturday’s Makybe Diva Stakes.

Nobody is a major knock on what is clearly a very, very good horse, but price is of such importance when betting… and the market seemed to overrate Mystic Journey on Saturday.

So how did her run actually rate, and what does the second placing mean for her campaign going forward?

Melbourne Ratings analyst Trevor Lawson’s advice for Saturday was clear: lay Mystic Journey at the price. It proved to be an inspired decision.

“At her peak last prep I had her rated a 65.5 on my scale – that’s when she won the Australian Guineas and the All-Star Mile,” said Trevor.

“When she returned in the PB Lawrence at Caulfield, I had her doing a 63.5 for a first-up run.

“With natural improvement as well as a map advantage on Saturday, I forecast her doing a 66 rating – so that’s an improvement on her best wins in autumn, and I still couldn’t get her to the market price.

“Based on price, the market forecast about a 66.5 on my scale.

“She returned a 64, so a slight improvement on her first-up run, but a length or so off her best and not near where the market rated her.

“She’s a bloody good horse obviously, but maybe the market took into account a bit of hype. There’s the Winx effect, which says the ‘top horse’ in the land doesn’t get beaten. That’s just not the case.

“There’s wasn’t much wrong with the run. It was a fast time and she beat Hartnell by a margin again.”

As for the remainder of her campaign, Trevor says there’s improvement to come.

“Personally, I wouldn’t change anything just because she got beaten. She’s not 100% fit and will improve,” her said.

“Normally on this kind of prep, you’d expect her next run would be at the mile again and you would expect her to improve on that. They seem to be tossing up between the Underwood (1800m) or the Turnbull (2000m) at Flemington. I’d suggest the Turnbull is to big a jump… I think it’s a no brainer to go to the Underwood.

“If she was to run there, I’d rate her to her best at the 1800m.”

The man behind Key Bets, Cameron O’Brien, delivered a major windfall for members on Saturday when he opposed Mystic Journey and backed the winner Gatting… at $101!

It was an amazing result, so we asked Cameron if things panned out exactly how he expected.

“Mystic Journey was the dominant filly of the autumn in Melbourne, going 113 on my scale in the Australian Guineas, then 112 when three-wide without cover throughout in the All-Star Mile,” said Cameron.

“When a filly is able to do that rating and hold it, I am hoping that she can progress at her next prep to 118.

“This prep she won first-up and looked really good, however she only did 108, a level off her top.

“That’s still a good figure first-up, because no doubt she wouldn’t have been 100% wound up. Still, I couldn’t push her up near 118 yet because she was only 108 first up.

“In the Makybe Diva, however, she has improved to her 113 again. So, she’s now done 113 in three of her last four runs… this says to me that she is capable of more than 113 when 100% fit and in her target race.”

Luckily for Cam’s members, he gave $101 winner Gatting a far better chance than the market did.

“Unfortunately for Mystic Journey, she came across a seasoned, experienced, strong Perth galloper who the market entirely under-estimated in Gatting,” he said.

“Just three runs earlier Gatting had won the Group 3 Hyperion (1600m at Belmont) rating 115, which was his top. It might have only been a Group 3, but 115 is a high rating.

“He’s also done between 110 and 111 plenty of times, leading me to think that on his day a 115/116 was entirely possible. And he did it.

“He’d resumed over 1300 metres at Belmont and somehow – in a field of five – ended up three-wide without cover. That was a clean-out run for him first-up. Macauliffe is astute trainer and he brought him to Flemington and back to his favourite trip, 1600m.

“He mapped ideally and had the incomparable Jamie Kah on board so I was happy to push him up close to his 115. This made him a $12 chance in my opinion, not a $139 chance as the best tote market ended up suggesting. So I tipped him and backed him each-way.

“He’s ended up getting the perfect run from the perfect ride by Kah, and has rated 116. That will be his top, I can’t see him finding another level on top of that. However, given he only had to give 2.5kgs to Mystic Journey, as she is now a four-year-old mare, his 116 to her 113 was enough to give him the race.”

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