Longford trainer John Blacker made what some ardent punters regarded as a boisterous statement when he declared his capable sprinter Blaze Forth would emerge triumphant over Mystic Journey in the Ladbrokes Stakes (1200m) in Launceston on Wednesday night.
But those who took his advice were rewarded with a dividend of $12 at the Tasracing Official Price when Blaze Forth led throughout to win the race ahead of Mystic Journey that was having her first start this campaign.
Punters around Australia rallied for Mystic Journey, firming from $1.22 at one stage of betting to start the $1.10 popular elect while Blaze Forth was a drifter in the market to start at $12.
With Kyle Maskiell aboard, Blaze Forth took the initiative and led the small field of five while Luke Currie allowed Mystic Journey to settle fourth but close enough 400m out to make an impact.
But while Currie was calling on Adam Trinder's champion mare to stake her claim, Maskiell encouraged Blaze Forth to find another gear and the gelded son of Court Command sped clear.
"I was extremely confident my horse could beat the great mare tonight because he went into the race on the back of an outstanding effort at his previous start over 1100m and his work since that run had been outstanding," Blacker said.
"It will probably be the only time he will get that result over Mystic Journey, but he's done the job well, and I couldn't be happier."
After the race Blacker confirmed Blaze Forth would most likely head to the weight-for-age Thomas Lyons over 1400m on Hobart Cup day (7 February) where he will again clash with Mystic Journey.