An international campaign in Hong Kong later this year is on the cards for the flying Team Hawkes-trained colt Happy Galaxy who resumes racing and kicks off their new season prep at Caulfield this Saturday.
Prepared by father and sons John, Michael and Wayne Hawkes, progressive Nadeem three-year-old Happy Galaxy is one of 18 sprinters nominated for the $120,000 Listed Sir John Monash Stakes (1100m).
And based on their pre-spell form the up-and-coming galloper is likely to jump one of the favourites as they shoot for their fifth consecutive win.
Happy Galaxy boasts five victories from eight starts so far thanks to an impressive summer winning streak in both Sydney and Melbourne at the start of the year.
Progressing from a Benchmark 70 at Rosehill on New Year’s Day they went up to stakes level at Caulfield on Australia Day and handled it with ease beating home Rusambo by three lengths in the Listed Zeditave Stakes (1200m).
Their last prep came to an end at Warwick Farm on February 9 where Happy Galaxy beat home a field of more experienced rivals including runner-up Skytrian to take out the Group 2 Expressway Stakes (1200m) and stamp themselves as a genuine racehorse on the rise.
They go to the Sir John Monash Stakes on Saturday looking to extend their good fortune and set themselves up for an ambitious overseas campaign targeting the Group 1 Hong Kong Sprint (1200m) at Sha Tin in mid-December on Hong Kong International Race Day.
The decision to bypass many of the riches on offer at home in Victoria during the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival has been made by the horse’s new Chinese-based connections who took over ownership following their Expressway success.
Before embarking on the trip however there’s a good chance Happy Galaxy will be stepped up to Group 1 company in Melbourne with Wayne Hawkes confirming they were looking at the $1 million Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on Friday October 25.
“He may have two or three runs, maybe with the Manikato – maybe – and then we might give him a break and then get him back for Christmas for the Hong Kong race,” Hawkes told RSN’s Racing Ahead this week.
“He raced over the summer months, he won the Zeditave then he went to Sydney and won the Expressway, then we put him away.
“He could have kept going, but we purposely put him away with all of this in mind.
“If he’s going to be winning Hong Kong races he’s got to be winning on Saturday, albeit he’s not wound up.”