Murwillumbah trainer Matthew Dunn is looking...
Seven-year-old Happy Trails will look to add to his Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) win last time out at the end of spring after trainer Paul Beshara announced the gelding will resume in the Group 1 CF Orr Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield Racecourse on February 14.
Happy Trails missed out on the autumn racing carnival last year following a lengthy nine month spell due to injury but his 2015 campaign is action-packed as he sets out to win his third Group One race.
Despite not being seen in three months, Happy Trails only received a limited spell following his win in the Mackinnon Stakes on November 1. The gelding returned to the stable a few weeks later and has been preparing for the 2015 CF Orr Stakes ever since.
Beshara revealed to Sky Racing the gelding’s entire autumn campaign – if all goes to plan.
After resuming in the CF Orr Stakes, Happy Trails will run in the Group 2 Peter Young Stakes (1800m) a fortnight later as a lead-in to the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington on March 14.
He will then travel to Sydney for The Championships, where the gelding will run in the $3 million Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) on April 4 unless the weights are too high in which case he’ll be saved for the $4 million Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) a fortnight later, both of which will run at Royal Randwick.
“We’ll throw in a nomination and see what they come up with,” Beshara said to Sky Racing.
“If we can get into the Doncaster with a good weight we’d go with it, but he wouldn’t want to be carrying a train.
“He’ll have a jump-out and a trial before the Orr but that’s still a month or so off.
“He’s just up to doing evens at this stage.”
Beshara is confident Happy Trails will return to his peak fitness level in no time after spending time on the walker during his break as well as going out into a paddock every day.
“We put him on the walker everyday as he gets older as he needs a bit of exercise,” he said.
Happy Trails is often overlooked in race fields when A-grade runners are concerned but after fighting on so well to win against the likes of He’s Your Man and Farraaj in the Mackinnon Stakes, he’s set to be a top contender during the 2015 autumn carnival.
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