Happy Trails is being set on the campaign of his career this autumn after trainer Paul Beshara revealed the gelding will be aimed towards five races, worth a total $8.6 million.
The seven-year-old gelding, known as the ‘people’s horse’ missed the autumn carnival last year after finding himself spelled for nine months following a win in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) and second placing in the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) in 2013.
Beshara is making up for it this time around however, taking full advantage of the lucrative prize money on offer during The Championships in Sydney.
Happy Trails is set to have a two-state autumn campaign after Beshara revealed the gelding will resume in the Group 1 CF Orr Stakes (1400m) first up at Caulfield on February 14. Following the recommended two weeks break, he’ll then run in the Group 2 Peter Young Stakes (1800m), otherwise known as the St George Stakes.
His final start in Melbourne for the autumn will be in in the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington on March 14 before travelling to Sydney for The Championships.
“He will come to Melbourne on February 14 for the ($400,000) Orr Stakes, then he’ll have two weeks into the ($200,000) St George,” Beshara told Racing Network on Thursday morning.
“Then he’ll run in the ($1,000,000) Australian Cup on March 14 before he heads to Sydney for the ($3,000,000) Doncaster Mile and the ($4,000,000) Queen Elizabeth.”
If all goes to plan, Happy Trails will tackle the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) first up at Royal Randwick on April 4 before ending his campaign in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) just one week later.
“You know, they keep trying to entice you to take your horse overseas and race, but he will be racing for $8 million in his last three starts alone,” Beshara said.
“Why would you go overseas?
“The money is better here and you don’t have to worry about injections and travelling and all of that.”
After six Group One starts in Melbourne during the spring, Happy Trails finally won himself the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) on his final start. After going back at the start, the gelding worked his way to the outside. He got into a battle up the straight and fought on to win a nose in front of He’s Your Man.
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