Multiple Group 1 winner Happy Trails heads the list of nominations for the Group 3 $120,000 David Coles AM Spring Stakes (1200m) at Morphettville on Saturday.
Happy Trails will kick off another Spring Carnival campaign with the Group 1 $3m Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 24 his ultimate goal after running to second to Shamus Award two years ago in the ‘Weight For Age Championship of Australasia’.
The Paul Beshara trained Happy Trials and stablemate Richie’s Vibe are two of the early fifteen nominations for the Spring Stakes.
The South Australian Jockey Club has extended nominations for the weight for age Spring Stakes until 10am on Tuesday, August 4, 2015, hoping to boost the numbers for their feature race on Saturday.
Jockey Simon Price rode Happy Trails in an exhibition gallop with Go Indy Go at Morphettville last Saturday and will partner the eight year old in his Spring pipe opener but no rider has been booked for his return to Melbourne in the Group 1 $400,000 New Zealand Bloodstock Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on August 29.
“Bossy (Glen Boss) has already been on the phone for the ride, but we haven’t committed to anyone just yet,’’ Beshara told The Advertiser.
Beshara was quite content with Happy Trails hit out and will be looking for some better surfaces in Melbourne than he found in Sydney during the Autumn Carnival, including a soft 7 in the Group 1 $4m Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on April 11 when he finished seventh to Criterioin.
“He copped a bit of flak for a couple of his runs in Sydney on wet tracks, but the horse just doesn’t let down on really heavy going,’’ Beshara said.
“The Morphettville track on Saturday was much better then what he had to deal with up there and his work was pretty much what I was expecting.’’
While Happy Trails couldn’t find the winner’s stall during the Autumn, he was a narrow winner of the Group 1 $1m Longines Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) at Flemington during the 2014 Melbourne Spring Carnival.
Smart sprinter Riziz (102 rating) is the second highest rated horse behind Happy Trails (112 rating) and will be having his first run for a month after running ninth to Miss Promiscuity in the Group 3 $150,000 PFD Food Services Sir John Monash Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield on July 4.
Prominent South Australian training partnership Leon Macdonald and Andrew Gluyas have entered Go Indy Go and Daytona Grey while premiership winning trainer Phillip Stokes has nominated six year old Dylanson.
Victorian gallopers Le Bonsir from the Mick Price stable and the Robbie Griffiths trained Nadeem Lass are also among the first lot of entries for the Spring Stakes.