Happy Trails has the Memsie Stakes 2013 this Saturday in the bag according to their South Australian trainer Paul Beshara who is confident he’s got the horse to beat in the cracking Caulfield showdown.
To be run as an elite level for the first time on the weekend, this year’s $350,000 Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) nominations list reads like the who’s who of resuming staying stars.
Some of the more notable entries include the now Robert Smerdon-trained dual WA Group 1 champion Luckgray; last year’s Melbourne Cup winner Green Moon and runner-up Fiorente; early Cox Plate fancy and Sydney Autumn 3YO Triple Crown winner It’s A Dundeel; and Mark Kavanagh’s duo of the undefeated Atlantic Jewel and Australian Cup winner Super Cool both resuming.
While the talent in that line-up is undeniable, a bullish Beshara won’t be deterred and is more than happy to take them all on with his Good Journey six-year-old Happy Trails.
“I think he’ll win it,” Beshara told Racing Victoria yesterday.
“I wouldn’t be bringing him over if I didn’t think he could win it.
“Obviously there’s the rest of the field to contend with but I just feel that he can reel off good sectional times and get a decent draw he can go one better than last year.”
The Adelaide raider was a bargain buy four years ago for $11,000 from the Magic Millions Adelaide Yearling Sales.
As of their last run, they had amassed $1.26 million in prize money.
It’s been a super ride for connections over their 34 starts to date, the highlight of which was their narrow Group 1 Emirates Stakes win over the Flemington mile last Melbourne Cup Carnival.
During the autumn they were hit and miss but finished well with a third to the Chris Waller-trained import Reliable Man in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m).
Happy Trails resumed racing off a three and a half month spell on August 10 at Morphettville when fifth to Just Discreet in the Group 3 Spring Stakes (1200m), an effort Beshara is sure they will improve on going up in distance for the Memsie.
“It wasn’t the smoothest run and I cried more than Lauren Stojakovic’s father during that race but he’s pulled up good and he’s eaten up,” Beshara said of the Spring Stakes.
“He hit the line well, he didn’t have the best of luck but once he got clear he showed what he can do.”
They were meant to trial at Gawler last Friday but the cancelation of the hitouts saw Beshara give them a testing gallop on Saturday morning instead with another on Tuesday morning.
“I would have liked to have had the trail, but he will win the Memsie,” Beshara told the Herald Sun.
For their impending ‘win’ Happy Trails will be ridden by top apprentice Chad Schofield who makes their Group 1 debut.
“Chad will ride him in the Memsie and he’s one of the best young jockeys in Australia because he’s hungry for winners so let’s hope this is his first Group 1,” Beshara said.
There could then be more Group 1 rides for Schofield if he sticks with Happy Trails who is set to defend their title in the $300,000 Group 2 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley on September 14 before going to the $500,000 Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on October 5.
The Turnbull will be the horse’s final run before the $3 million Group 1 W.S. Cox Plate (2040m) on October 26, a race they finished sixth to More Joyous in in 2011 and 10th behind Sacred Falls in the mud last spring.
The 2013 Memsie Stakes final field and barriers are due for release on Wednesday and will be published right here at Races.com.au so stay tuned.
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