Tasmanian super filly Mystic Journey won the 2019 Australian Guineas and became the second filly from her generation to topple the 120 barrier on Timeform scale - the other being Arcadia Queen who ran to 121 when winning the Kingston Town in Perth.
Mystic Journey - rated 116p in the spring - improved to run 120 in Flemington's Guineas. The performance stacks up with other fillies to win the race such as Mosheen, Miss Finland and Triscay who were all rated 122 in the Guineas.
The win continued the strong run of the fillies in the current classic generation. The two-year-old triple crown in Sydney was taken out by three seperate fillies - Estijaab, El Dorado Dreaming, Seabrook - Maid Of Heaven kept the roll going by winning the Spring Champion and then Sunlight joined the party by winning the Coolmore.
The fillies as a group are strong. The number of fillies rated higher than 110 at this point in the season is essentially in line with preceding years but having two fillies at 120 and above at this point of the season is good going. The gals have some star power.
At the same point of the preceding three seasons there have been zero fillies rated 120, with the most recent to carry such a lofty mark being First Seal who was rated 122 in 2015. Second on the list that year was a filly called Winx who trained on okay...
We have to go back to 2012, when Atlantic Jewel, Mosheen and Streama brought some serious girl power to the game, to find another season with more than one filly blasting past the 120 mark.
So this year's fillies are well up to scratch - or even a bit better than that - but their success also looks to be a product of a colts division lacking in depth.
The Autumn Sun won the Guineas and produced a big performance in doing so. He was also brilliant in the Golden Rose, which as a race was the best showing from the colts to date, and there is little doubt that he is a genuine star. He's the cherry but where is the cake?
The Autumn Sun produced a big performance to win the Guineas, but not so big that the margin to second should have been 4.5 lengths. That's the widest in the modern history of the Caulfield Guineas, toppling Whobegotyou's 3.3 length romp in 2008. Red Anchor and Our Maizcay won it by three lengths. It's rare territory and only in part a product of The Autumn Sun's talent. It's also a function of the lack of talent behind him. None of the chasing rabble could make it to the Australian Guineas - the wheels having come off most of them in the four months since.
Instead the colts served up Hawkshot as their chief representative and he ran well - his rating up to 117 after running a fast 115 in the Autumn Stakes prior. The low-rating CS Hayes - so often the key lead-up to the Australian Guineas - fielded nine runners on Saturday and between them they failed to beat a runner from another formline home. Another black mark for the depth of the colts.
The highest rated colts away from The Autumn Sun are down to run in next weekend's Newmarket Handicap. Graff and Zousain are both rated 119 and filled the placings behind TAS in The Golden Rose back in the spring. As mentioned, that race was the brightest light for the colts this season, but even then, closing sectionals suggested that the margins flattered the chasing pack with the winner far more dominant then the fine margin on the line - and Zousain hardly looks like recapturing that 119 rating let alone bettering after a very plain return to racing last week.
It's probably too late to save the colts but Graff has the foundations of a horse better than 119 and he may be able to go someway to dragging the group back towards the mean in the coming months. In the meantime we have some really good fillies to enjoy, and none more so than Mystic Journey.