Paul Beshara’s old warhorse Happy Trails could target the Group 1 staying features in Perth this November after a seventh Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival campaign.
The rising nine-year-old son of Good Journey’s spring preparations stepped up a notch when the Morphettville-based Beshara welcomed the gelding back into work at the start of the month.
A winner of over $3.27 million in prize money over a 61 start career to date, Happy Trails has more than proven his worth for the stable according to Beshara.
He will monitor the veteran closely over the coming weeks before confirming exact spring plans, but he and the owners are keen to see the triple Group 1 winner make another Victorian raid during their key carnival season before retirement.
“We’ll start increasing his work and we’ll know over the next six weeks whether he’s competitive enough to race again,” Beshara told Racenet.
“We’d like him to but it’s up to him.
“He’s eight years old, rising nine. We’d just like to see how he goes.
“The owner Erica Dickmann has always said to me, `any sign of him not wanting to be there, we’ll just retire him’.”
Happy Trails has been present in the past six Melbourne Spring Carnivals and has enjoyed much success.
He won his first Group 1 in 2012 taking out Flemington’s Emirates Stakes.
The following year he saluted in the Turnbull Stakes over 2000m at Flemington before his second to Shamus Award in the 2013 Cox Plate.
Happy Trails caught the eye in 2014 with an Underwood Stakes second and subsequent Mackinnon Stakes win, which is his most recent turf triumph.
That means it has been nearly two years between victories for the champion who was far from disgraced last spring when runner-up to Criterion in the Caulfield Stakes in his best run of the prep.
His latest start meanwhile was at Randwick on April 9 crossing fifth to Lucia Valentina in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m), his incredible 31st Group 1 run.
All going to plan and Happy Trails could not only race in Melbourne this time in, but he could also head west targeting the Perth Summer Racing Carnival riches.
“If he looks all good he’ll definitely have a spring campaign and we might even look at Perth,” Beshara said.
“It all depends on the next six weeks and how he wants to be.
“The Group I races he’s run in have just been incredible.”
The key targets for him at Ascot in WA would be the $1 million Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m) and the $1 million Group 1 Kingstown Town Classic (1800m).
His biggest run in Melbourne would likely be the $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley in October, which he has run in four times previously.
He currently sits as a $67 roughie in futures Cox Plate betting at Ladbrokes.com.au led by the defending champion Winx ($3).
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