Happy Galaxy remains on track to contest the Hong Kong International Sprint (1200m) at Sha Tin in December, despite his less than impressive performance in the Listed Sir John Monash Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield last month.
Happy Galaxy was well backed in the lead-up to the Sir John Monash Stakes, starting the race as favourite, but performed well below his best and was one of the first horses beaten when asked for an extra effort with six hundred metres left to run in the race.
Co-trainer Michael Hawkes told Sky Racing HQ this morning that Happy Galaxy was found with a temperature the morning after the race, which explained the poor performance that appeared too bad to be true.
“Happy Galaxy pulled up with a bit of a temperature after his run in Melbourne,” Hawkes said.
“Obviously that is why he had a bit of an off day.
“It was a bit like All Too Hard (during the 2013 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival), his happened on the morning of the Guineas and Happy Galaxy’s happened the day after.”
Team Hawkes have set an ambitious campaign for Happy Galaxy that is set to include a tilt at the Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley and the Hong Kong Sprint – the richest race in the world over 1200 meters or shorter.
Hawkes said that this is still the plan for the son of Nadeem and believes the four-year-old has recovered well from the minor setback.
“We put him straight out in the paddock and got the grass through his stomach,” Hawkes said.
“He is back on the water walker now and we are going to set him for a preparation that includes Hong Kong at the end of the year.”
Australian horses have previously tasted success in the Hong Kong Sprint with Falvelon winning the race back-to-back in 2000 and 2001 while David Hayes-trained All Thrills Too was victorious the following year.