The 2015 Spring Stakes field has been released and popular galloper Happy Trails is set to return to racing in the Group 3 event that will be held at Morphettville on Saturday.
Happy Trails has started his Cox Plate campaign in the Spring Stakes for the past three years – winning in 2012 before finishing fifth in both 2013 and 2014 – and trainer Paul Beshara sees no reason to change the regular path that he follows with his star performer.
The eight-year-old has not been seen at the races since he finished a credible seventh behind Criterion in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Royal Randwick on April 11 and he will be chasing his first race win since he took out the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on Victoria Derby Day last year.
Happy Trails will be sent to Melbourne after he runs in the Spring Stakes to contest the Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on August 29 and he is likely to run in the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on September 26 and the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on October 4 on his path to the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 24.
The other Group 1 winner that has been included in the 2015 Spring Stakes is talented mare Go Indy Go, who has not been seen at the races since she failed to fire in the Group 1 Crown Oaks (2500m) at Flemington last year.
A great deal was expected of Go Indy Go heading into the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival after she took out the Group 1 Champagne Stakes (1600m) as a two-year-old, but she was unable to replicate that sort of form.
The Bernardini mare started her campaign with a very poor performance in the Group 2 Danehill Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on September 13 and she produced an improved effort in the Group 2 Thousand Guineas Prelude (1400m) at Caulfield on September 28 before she produced a flat effort in the Group 1 Thousand Guineas (1600m) at the same venue a fortnight later.
Go Indy Go stamped herself as a Crown Oaks contender when she finished third in the Group 2 Moonee Valley Vase (2040m) on Cox Plate Day, but she suffered an injury in the race and was sent to the spelling paddock.
Co-trainer Leon Macdonald is confident that Go Indy Go has taken plenty of benefit from her lengthy stint away from breaking and she was included in the 2015 Caulfield Cup nominations that were released by Racing Victoria yesterday.
Go Indy Go will be joined in the 2015 Spring Stakes by stablemate Daytona Grey while Riziz (barrier 12), Richie’s Vibe (barrier three), Whitlam (barrier nine), Dylanson (barrier two), Alcohol (barrier ten), Justify That (barrier five), Stiumulatte (barrier eight), Red Eclipse (barrier one) and Pinky Tuscadero (barrier 11) round out the 2015 Spring Stakes field.