Picking up the ride on the classy South Australian for his last two race starts, jockey Michael Rodd is bullish of his chances aboard Happy Trails in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington this weekend following an impressive run for second in the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) last time out.
Securing six wins and 13 minor places from his 40 career starts so far, Happy Trails was a standout performer over the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival, without doubt highlighted by his impressive win in the Turnbull Stakes before progressing to a strong run for second in the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m).
Contesting the same path through this year’s edition of the Spring Carnival, Rodd told AAP he was thrilled with the feel and performance offered up by the Good Journey gelding in the Underwood Stakes two weeks ago and is confident of partnering the seven-year-old to a successful defence of the Turnbull Stakes on Saturday.
“His run in the Underwood was outstanding,” Rodd said.
“He had a massive blow after that and Paul has always said his target is the Cox Plate but obviously we’ll try to win what we can on the way through.
“It just shows he’s pretty much on par with where he was last year.
“He’s definitely one of the winning chances in the Turnbull.”
Finishing fifth in the Group 3 Spring Stakes (1200m) at his local Morphettville Racecourse first-up; the same position he finished in 2013, Happy Trails ran home for eighth in the Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) on August 30th, one place worse than his 2013 performance in the same event.
Nominated alongside a particularly talented field of 28 for the 2014 Turnbull Stakes, Happy Trails is currently available at a generous quote of $9 for success in early markets at Ladbrokes.com.au; sharing the fifth line of betting with Chris Waller-trained hopefuls Foreteller and Hawkspur.
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