Defending champ Happy Trails will again kick off their spring carnival campaign in the Spring Stakes 2013 on Saturday looking to go back-to-back in the Morphettville feature, this time jumping the race favourite.
There are 10 horses left in contention for the $115,000 Group 3 Adelaide Galvanising Spring Stakes (1200m) following the early scratching of #9 Draw Forward, the favourite of which is Paul Beshara’s Happy Trails.
Winner of the Emirates Stakes last Melbourne Cup Carnival, Good Journey gelding Happy Trails makes their six-year-old debut on Saturday as they vie for their second successive Spring Stakes trophy.
Last year they narrowly held off Gossip Girl to win the feature from gate 10 (of 11) with Jason Holder aboard.
This weekend they will again be ridden by Holder this time jumping from gate eight of 10, racing for the first time since their brave third behind Reliable Man in the Group 1 Queen’s Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick in late April.
Happy Trails currently sits top of the Spring Stakes odds at a quote of $3.20 as one of the five single figure fancies.
The $5 second elect is then another first-up runner in Budriguez who is also set to head to Victoria for the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival later this season like Happy Trails.
Drawn in gate six with Joe Bowditch to ride, Goolwa-based Al Maher seven-year-old Budriguez won successive Group races in Melbourne before the break.
They dead heated for first with ante-post Melbourne Cup betting favourite Puissance De Lune in the Group 2 Blamey Stakes (1600m) at Flemington and then scored again when going back to the 1400m at Caulfield on March 30 for the Group 3 Victoria Handicap.
While the Spring Stakes is short of their preferred distance, Budriguez did win first-up at Morphettville Parks over 1250m in February two years back so could surprise.
The other hopefuls under $10 in the markets are then Darren Weir’s consistent Ballarat visitor Broken ($7), local New Approach three-year-old Gamblin’ Guru ($7) having just their third run who was last seen finishing fifth in the Group 2 VRC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) at Flemington in March, and the Peter Moody-trained Group 2 winning mare Meliora ($7.50).
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2013 Spring Stakes Odds
Morphettville Race 7 – 4:20pm (AEST) – 10/08/2013
|1||HAPPY TRAILS (8)||3.20|
|4||FINAL COMMAND (5)||18.00|
|5||BARIGAN BOY (9)||21.00|
|6||JUST DISCREET (1)||10.00|
|8||GOLDEN PENNY (2)||16.00|
|9||DRAW FORWARD (7)||–|
|10||DANISH SPY (3)||21.00|
|11||GAMBLIN’ GURU (10)||7.00|
*Fixed Win odds provided by bookmaker.com.au and subject to change