Connections of star mare Mystic Journey are leaving no stone unturned as they prepare for an assault on the Melbourne spring carnival.
Trainer Adam Trinder already has a staff member on site in Victoria awaiting Mystic Journey's arrival even though the mare isn't going for another fortnight.
As he can't travel himself due to the COVID-19 siutation, Trinder said it was important to have someone in Victoria who knows the horse.
"Mystic Journey will be her (the staff member's) only focus and she'll have plenty of time to do what needs to be done," he said.
"I feel it's the best situation we can come up with in the current environment so I trust it will be good enough."
Mystic Journey will travel to Melbourne on the Spirit Of Tasmania on either the Wednesday or Thursday before her first-up run in the P B Lawrence Stakes at Cauflield on August 15.
Trinder said he had given some thought to bringing her home after the race but again the COVID-19 situation had made that difficult.
"With the Spirit now taking mainly cargo they've slowed her down and what used to be a 9 or 10-hour trip is now more like 12 hours door-to-door," he said.
"I think that is a little bit too long to be shipping her back and forth.
"So at this stage she'll travel to Victoria and be trained out of there until the situation changes."
Mystic Journey had her second trial at Spreyton on Tuesday and scored comfortably over 1009m.
Jockey David Pires shook her up at the 200m to get her going then she cruised home under no real pressure.
"Dave gave her a really good report saying she was strong through the line," Trinder said.
"She had a nice, healthy little blow afterwards and that will tighten her up.
"She still needs to drop a little bit of weight so she'll now have one or two grass gallops at Mowbray.
"When she has trips away her blood count lifts and she knows she's getting closer to her game day.
"They should have her on song for Caulfield."
Mystic Journey won the P B Lawrence Stakes last year.
HARNESS PUNTERS LEFT IN DARK
Owners and trainers aren't the only ones being disadvantaged by the lack of harness trials in Tasmania.
If the comments from trainer Rachel Williams are any guide, punters are missing out as well.
Williams won the 3YO at Mowbray last Sunday night with 100-1 first-starter Kivik, who hadn't been seen at the trials since last October.
The trainer said on the Tasracing web site that she hadn't been able to find a recent trial for Kivik.
Due to a shortage of on-course stalls, the previous Mowbray trials on July 19, a race night, had been restricted to horses that needed to qualify.
Kivik had already qualified, late last year, so Williams had to send him into his debut assignment without a lead-up trial.
Given that she said the horse had been working 'extremely well', a public trial would have exposed his form to punters and it's highly unlikely he would have started at triple-figure odds.
All but one of the trials scheduled for Hobart this Sunday night have been cancelled, again due to a shortage of on-course stabling accommodation.
And, with trials currently being held only on race nights, there is no guarantee this won't become a regular occurrence.
Even in these difficult times, the situation seems well short of the level of professionalism that industry participants - and punters - should be able to expect.
3YO CLASH AT OPENING MEETING
The first meeting of the new thoroughbred season has attracted 104 acceptors for nine races at Spreyton on Sunday.
The 3YO Maiden is one of the more interesting races on the program as last week's unsuccessful plunge horse Freelancer returns and will clash with three recent trial winners and a promising horse resuming from a spell.
The Scott Brunton-trained Reite Den Blitz hasn't raced since two good runs in top company.
The filly was beaten only 1-1/2 lengths when fifth to South Australian visitor Jyoti in the $150,000 Gold Sovereign and 2-1/2 lengths when fifth to Le Cadeau in the Magic Millions Classic.
The first-starters include the John Blacker-trained Magnus gelding The Poodle who was the fastest of seven 800m trial winners at Spreyton on Tuesday.
Michbar, who resumes for Adam Trinder, ran fourth in the Magic Millions and beat last week's debut winner One Lotto in a trial 16 days ago.