Happy Trails is currently available at 2015 Cox Plate odds of $21, but jockey Mark Zahra is confident that the veteran gelding can produce another strong performance in the Australasian Weight-For-Age Championship at Moonee Valley on Saturday.
Happy Trails is set to have his fourth start in the Cox Plate and he is still chasing his maiden win in the race after finishing tenth behind Ocean Park in 2012, a very close second behind Shamus Award in 2013 and sixth behind Adelaide last year.
Zahra told Sky Racing HQ that Happy Trails has never been disgraced in the Cox Plate and he is confident that trainer Paul Beshara will have the triple Group 1 winner at his best ahead of the 2015 edition of the race.
“All his runs in the race have been good – whether he has had luck or not much luck,” Zahra said.
“He is an eight-year-old now and Paul knows exactly what he is doing with him now.
“The horse doesn’t need anything special, but for an eight-year-old he moves great and he looks well.
“He is peaking at the right time.
“He is a tough old bloke and he will pull something out.”
Zahra partnered Happy Trails for the first time when he finished fifth in the 2011 edition of the Listed Adelaide Guineas (1600m) at Morphettville on March 26 and he reunited with the Good Journey gelding for the Group 1 Ladbrokes Caulfield Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield on October 10.
Happy Trails clearly returned to his best form with his second place finish behind Criterion in the Caulfield Stakes and Zahra is confident that could be one of the strongest form lines ahead of the 2015 Cox Plate.
“He went great and he gave me a beautiful ride,” Zahra said.
“He relaxed nice in the run and at the top of the straight I thought it was going to be hard for something to run him down.
“Criterion just ran me down and he is favourite and Mongolian Khan finished just behind me and he won the Caulfield Cup.
“The form has panned out alright.”
Happy Trails is currently available at 2015 Cox Plate odds of $21 and he is on the 11th line of betting behind Highland Reel ($5), Criterion ($6), Winx ($7), Kermadec ($7.50), Arod ($8.50), Preferment ($13), Fawkner ($15), Hartnell ($15), Complacent ($19) and Gailo Chop ($19).
You can claim the best odds for every horse that is set to run at Moonee Valley on Saturday with Ladbrokes, who are offering Best Tote or Starting Price +20% on every single race!