Cox Plate Runner-Up Leads 2014 Spring Stakes Field

Runner-up in last year’s Cox Plate and heading towards the weight-for-age classic again this spring, the Paul Beshara-trained Happy Trails leads the Spring Stakes 2014 field in Adelaide this weekend.

Happy Trails

Happy Trails is the headline Spring Stakes 2014 acceptor in Adelaide on Saturday. Photo: Race Horse Photos Australia.

The Good Journey gelding kicked off their spring campaign last time in at Morphettville when fifth in the $115,000 Group 3 Spring Stakes (1200m) and will again run first-up in the event on Saturday.

Injured in October after a devastatingly close second behind three-year-old winner Shamus Award in the $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m), the now seven-year-old Happy Trails has recovered over the past 10 months and is ready to get back to racing.

They trialed at the track last week when a close second over 1000m and again have Cox Plate ambitions having been one of 225 horses nominated for the October 25 classic on Tuesday.

Troy Baker rides Happy Trails in the Spring Stakes, their regular race jockey Dwayne Dunn engaged at Flemington, but will give up the mount to Dunn once the horse kicks off in Melbourne after this.

Happy Trails is the one to beat but they do face some quality competition including the Ken Sweeney-trained Riziz.

A Clare Lindop mount jumping from barrier five, six-year-old Zariz gelding Riziz won their lead-up trial at the track last Friday keeping them fresh off the back of a third to Lord Of The Sky in the Group 3 Sir John Monash Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield early last month.

Group 1 performed when third to Smokin’ Joey in The Goodwood here back in May, Riziz is a three time winner over Saturday’s track and distance and so has to be considered.

There are meanwhile four last start winners in the Spring Stakes field this year including the Richard Jolly-trained Mr Good Cat.

A veteran eight-year-old they improved on an eighth behind Zamorar at Flemington over 1000m on July 26 when returning home a week later to beat home Mr Chard and Daytona Grey in the $50,000 Programmed Property Services Handicap (1100m).

Jolly has also accepted for the rails-drawn Karacatis who is first-up here.

The Hussonet six-year-old, a stakes winner in Melbourne last summer, was last seen running sixth in The Goodwood and come off a third in last week’s Adelaide trials run on a Heavy-rated course.

Also with an inside alley is Ryan Balfour’s Mossman four-year-old Light It Up (barrier two) who comes into the race off the back of some killer form having run top three in their past four runs.

They were third to Riziz in their open trial last week, before which they won in the mud over this track and distance adding to their top record over 1200m here (3-2-1-0).

Kerri McAnulty & Clint Binnie then saddle-up the two other last start winners in Our Littletreasure and Pinky Tuscadero, shooting for their third straight at the track, who are drawn beside each other in barriers seven and six respectively.

Completing the Spring Stakes field are then Outlandish Lad (barrier three) and Leon Macdonald & Andrew Gluyas’ Artie Schiller five-year-old Daytona Grey.

See below for the full David R Coles AM Spring Stakes 2014 field and barriers with betting for the WFA clash to open shortly at

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2014 Spring Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw

Morphettville Race 7 (4:12pm) – 09/08/2014

# Form (Last 10) Horse Trainer Jockey Br. Wgt. Hcp. Rating
903x57412x 1 HAPPY TRAILS Paul Beshara Troy Baker 9 58.5kg 115
2 115x11x303 RIZIZ Ken Sweeney Clare Lindop 5 58.5kg 103
3 134718526x KARACATIS Richard Jolly Jake Toeroek (a) 1 58.5kg 99
4 0x688435x5 OUTLANDISH LAD Dennis O’Leary Libby Hopwood 3 58.5kg 96
5 1086×22513 DAYTONA GREY Leon Macdonald & Andrew Gluyas Jason Holder 8 58.5kg 95
6 335×324381 MR GOOD CAT Richard Jolly Chad Lever 4 58.5kg 88
7 2531×43221 LIGHT IT UP Ryan Balfour 2 58.5kg 71
8 69×7559191 OUR LITTLETREASURE Kerri McAnulty & Clint Binnie Todd Pannell 7 56.5kg 71
9 12×834311 PINKY TUSCADERO Kerri McAnulty & Clint Binnie Simon Price 6 56.5kg 70


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