Promising mare to put unbeaten status on the line in The Western Star

Former Kiwi pacer Into The Mystic winning at Albion Park.

A crop of first-time harness owners are enjoying a dream ride with former Kiwi pacer Into The Mystic as her unbeaten status goes on the line in Sunday’s feature The Western Star at Marburg.

Following on from the Group 1 The Rising Sun on Saturday evening at Albion Park, the 2023 Constellations Carnival rolls on to Marburg on Sunday with a nine-event program.

The Western Star – which will be raced for $22,000 this year – headlines the card from Marburg.

Trainer Ben Battle has had The Western Star front of mind with his promising mare Into The Mystic in recent weeks.

Purchased unraced from New Zealand, Into The Mystic is yet to put a foot wrong in two starts in Australia, scoring on both occasions at Albion Park.

The 28-year-old Battle has long thought the Marburg feature would suit the four-year-old.

“We have had this race in mind for a bit since her maiden win,” Battle said.

“We have spaced her runs so we could hold her down in the grades until Sunday.”

Into The Mystic is raced by a group of around  16 owners, with almost half of those enjoying ownership in the harness code for the first time.

“They are having a real good time, they think harness racing is great,” Battle said. 

“They are tickled pink with what she has done with her first couple of starts.”

The mare was identified by the same agent who helped acquire Call Me Keith for the Battle barn.

Call Me Keith and Into The Mystic were both prepared by Hamish Hunter across the ditch.

Many of the Call Me Keith syndicate have rolled their earnings from the gelding into a share of Into The Mystic.

The eight-year-old has been a fantastic investment for the Battle stable owners, winning just over $60,000 and six races over the last two seasons.

Call Me Keith will also face the starter at Marburg on Sunday.

The prominent La Spina family are also in the unbeaten mare.

“We have been really happy with her since she arrived seeing as she was unraced,” the trainer said.

Former Kiwi pacer Into The Mystic winning at Albion Park.

“We did give decent money for her so we were expecting her to be a handy enough horse.

“So far she has ticked every box that we have asked of her.

“Her maiden win was good without being anything special but her second start was a huge step in her class for her as well as being a longer trip – that was the eye-catching run.

“That was great the way she beat those horses the way she did.”

It has been a strong week for the Mutdapilly-based Battle stable – preparing three winners in the last seven days.

Into The Mystic has drawn five for the 2200 metre race around Marburg on Sunday and will be partnered by champion horseman Luke McCarthy.

McCarthy drove the Battle-trained mare in her most recent victory.

Battle offered the drive to McCarthy for Sunday’s race thinking he would opt to not be driving at the meeting.

But, he accepted and has three engagements for the Battle stable.

Battle says the 40-year-old McCarthy told him that he had not driven in a race at the western Brisbane-based track since he was a teenager.

The Western Star will be raced for increased stakes this year after the Marburg Pacing Association recently struck a partnership with GoldBet.

“Marburg has recently entered into a wagering partnership with GoldBet and they have added $7,000 prize money plus trophy and rug to this Sunday’s feature,” Marburg club secretary Denis Smith said.

By Jordan Gerrans