Popular gelding Happy Trails was unable to handle the heavy going when 12th in the Doncaster Mile on Monday, but will return for Saturday’s featured Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) in prime condition according to trainer Paul Beshara.
Happy Trails jumped from the gates well in the Doncaster Mile and found a good position on the fence with cover before rounding onto the final straight at Randwick, but failed to produce much of sprint.
Beshara was on hand for Happy Trails’ allocation of barrier 9 for the 2015 Queen Elizabeth Stakes on Tuesday morning and confirmed his runner’s fitness was not diminished by the heavy Randwick surface on Monday.
“He just didn’t handle that going and didn’t even blow a candle out when he came in,” Beshara said.
“He backs up very well – he had four races last spring campaign in five weeks and won the last one, so he really appreciates the back-up.
“It won’t worry him. Plenty of horses raced in the Mackinnon and then ran in the Melbourne Cup on the Tuesday so that’s no problem.”
A three-time Group 1 winner, twice over 2000m on good tracks, Beshara is confident the Good Journey gelding will perform on everything to a dead track and is hoping for nothing more than sunshine in the days leading up to the Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
“We just want the sun to shine,” he said.
“A dead track would be really good; dead wouldn’t worry him, good would be better.
“He was perfect, jumping around. He’s as happy as Larry.”
Returning to racing for a credible sixth in the Group 1 CF Orr Stakes (1400m) on February 14th, Happy Trails progressed to a close second to Mourinho in the Group 2 Peter Young Stakes (1800m) and third in the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) in the weeks leading up to the Doncaster Mile.
Confirmed to be partnered by champion jockey Damien Oliver, Happy Trails is currently available at 2015 Queen Elizabeth Stakes odds of $51 for success with leading online bookie Ladbrokes.com.au.
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