Fresh off the back of a typically successful campaign through the 2014 spring, trainer Paul Beshara has revealed he is thrilled with the condition of three-time Group 1 champion Happy Trails and will be targeting big money races upon his autumn return.
Securing seven wins and a further 14 minor places over an impressive 45 start career so far, Happy Trails was unlucky not to secure a top-line race win early in his spring preparation in 2014, but ended the year in the best way possible when beating Epsom Handicap winner He’s Your Man on the line in the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) on November 1st.
Initially eyeing a trip to Sha Tin for the major Group 1 Hong Kong Cup (2000m) in December, Beshara said the large prizes on offer during the Australian autumn mean a venture abroad is not necessary for Happy Trails.
“You know, they keep trying to entice you to take your horse overseas and race, but he will be racing for $8 million in his last three starts alone,” Beshara told TVN.
“Why would you go overseas?
“The money is better here and you don’t have to worry about injections and travelling and all of that.”
Confirming the Group 1 C.F. Orr Stakes (1400m) at the first point of call for the Good Journey gelding two weeks ago, Beshara said the featured Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on Day 2 of The Championships remains the seven-year-old’s major autumn target.
“He will come to Melbourne on February 14 for the Orr Stakes, then he’ll have two weeks into the St George over 1800 metres,” Beshara said.
“Then he’ll run in the Australian Cup on March 14 before he heads to Sydney for the Doncaster Mile and the Queen Elizabeth.”
Breaking through for a maiden Group 1 victory in the 2012 edition of the Emirates Stakes, Happy Trails arguably hit career-best condition over the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival, highlighted by a victory in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) and close second in the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m).
Happy Trails is currently available at generous odds of $21 for success in the 2015 Queen Elizabeth Stakes with Ladbrokes Australia.