Spreyton trainer Adam Trinder looks like being forced into another change of plan for star mare Mystic Journey.
The four-year-old is being treated for a leg infection and, although not considered serious, it all but rules out a first-up run in Tasmania.
Trinder said it was now most likely Mystic Journey would resume in the Futurity Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on February 22 before tackling the $5 million All-Star Mile at the same track on March 14.
"Going to the mile second-up doesn't worry me - she did the same last prep and although she only ran second in the Makybe Diva, she performed extremely well," the trainer said.
Trinder had been considering giving Mystic Journey two runs before the All-Star Mile, starting with the Thomas Lyons Stakes in Hobart on February 9.
However that plan most likely went out the window on Tuesday morning when the mare was found to be lame with inflammation in her nearside foreleg.
"It's an infection under the skin, not uncommon in horses but not something I've encountered before," Trinder said.
"She is being treated with antibiotics and it has settled down really quickly - hopefully we've nipped it in the bud.
"But we've had to back-off and she's only being hand-walked at the moment.
"It's just a little setback but untimely, obviously."
Trinder stopped short of completely ruling out a Thomas Lyons start but didn't sound optimistic.
"I would have loved the Tasmanian public to see her on home soil but that is now up in the air - we'll know more in 48 hours," he said.
INTERSTATE RIVALS FOR STILL A STAR
Two interstate runners will add interest to the $100,000 Launceston Guineas at Mowbray on Saturday night but bookmakers aren't too keen on their chances.
Even though Superhombre is trained by the great Gai Waterhouse, the recent Newcastle maiden winner was a $10 chance in Sportsbet's opening market.
Sir Dana, a last-start Hanging Rock maiden winner trained by Robert Kingston at Mornington, was at $51.
Tasmanian Guineas winner Still A Star dominates the market.
Despite being the only filly in the field and on trial at 2100m, she firmed from $1.85 to $1.70 almost as soon as betting opened.
Trainer Bill Ryan is confident Still A Star will stay.
"She has excelled over every distance she's raced over so far and she's bred to go further being by Toronado who is by High Chaparral," the trainer said.
High Chaparral, an Epsom Derby winner, sired great stayers such as So You Think, Rekindling, Descarado, Shoot Out and Dundeel.
Ryan could have taken an easier option and waited for the 1000 Guineas against the fillies next Wednesday night but the Launceston Guineas is worth twice as much.
MARKET: 1.70 Still A Star; 5.00 Heaven's Bonus; 6.00 Argyle Beach; 8.00 Vamos Raffa; 10.00 Superhombre; 23.00 Mywordis; 41.00 Olympic Honour; 51.00 Dixie's Boy, Sir Dana; 61.00 Gaius Julius; 81.00 others.
MULTI-PRONGED DEBUTANTE BID
Leading owner Mick Maxfield and his Wesley Vale-based trainer Paul Ashwood have a strong hand in the $15,000 Keith Stanley Debutante Stakes at Mowbray on Friday night.
They will be represented by Yeah Mate and Who Said You Said who both easily won Carrick trials in good time on December 23 and Shaun To The Max who was runner-up in a trial on January 6.
'King Of The Kids' Paul Hill also has two runners in Rocknovertime and Rocknroll Nitro who have both won trials in Hobart in slower times.
The Kent Rattray-trained Impulsive George was also a trial winner at Carrick in early December before running second to Yeah Mate.
Harness racing continues at Devonport on Sunday night with the $12,000 Mares Incentive the feature race.