Anthony Darmanin aboard Mystic Journey (Image: Racing Photos)
Anthony Darmanin loves riding in Tasmania, but he hopes he will not be able to for some time as he looks ahead to partnering super mare Mystic Journey first-up in Friday night's Group 1 William Reid Stakes at The Valley.
Darmanin was forced to give up a number of top rides at Wednesday night's Launceston meeting because under newly applied quarantine rules amid the Coronavirus, he wouldn't be able to ride again for two weeks.
"I would have to be in quarantine for 14 days so I'm giving up those rides tonight," Darmanin said.
"While Mystic Journey is racing, I am staying put in Melbourne."
Last year's inaugural All-Star Mile winner was unable to defend her title this year after being laid low in mid-January by a soft-tissue infection in her left front.
She has been given a slow build-up by trainer Adam Trinder towards Friday night, where her performance will determine whether she continues her preparation onto Adelaide this autumn.
"Adam is really pleased with her," Darmanin said. "She worked well on Saturday morning so he's very pleased. It's obviously going to be a strong race, but she has to kick off somewhere and I am sure she'll run well.
"Usually it falls away but this year it's as strong as it's been for a while.
"She has to be at her best but if she can run top four or five, I am pretty sure Adam and connections will be happy."
Darmanin's decision to avoid Tasmanian racing for the time being has all but handed Craig Newitt the title for the season as Newitt (59 winners) is already 25 winners ahead of second-placed Darmanin.