Having never contested an event beyond a distance of 2040m, trainer Paul Beshara has revealed popular seven-year-old Happy Trails may be set for a shock tilt at the 2015 Melbourne Cup (3200m) upon resuming in spring.
A three-time Group 1 winner, Happy Trails has not been seen at the races since failing to handle the heavy going in both the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) and Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) during The Championships.
Having been underlined for another Spring Carnival campaign geared towards the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m), Beshara told AAP Happy Trails will definitely be included in 2015 Melbourne Cup nominations; a berth in the Race That Stops a Nation to be decided by form and results.
“He’ll follow the same program as last year,” Beshara said.
“The Spring Stakes, the Memsie, the Underwood, the Turnbull and then the Cox Plate.
“We’ll also throw in a nomination for the Melbourne Cup,” Beshara said.
“As he’s getting older he’s becoming more dour and then we can just play it by ear and see how he goes along.”
Beshara also confirmed a trip to Sha Tin to contest either of the Group 1 Hong Kong Cup (2000m) or Group 1 Hong Kong Vase (2400m) remains on the cards for the classy Good Journey gelding following his 2015 Spring Carnival campaign.
“He’s had his injections and maybe we could look at Hong Kong at the end of this year or even next year and then go to the Singapore Cup,” Beshara said.
“I love Sydney and I like going to Sydney but the trouble is it just rains all the time and he can’t run in the rain.”
Happy Trails undoubtedly found career-best form to date over the 2013 edition of the Spring Carnival, highlighted by success in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) and a close second to Shamus Award in the Cox Plate.
Having returned in similarly impressive condition during the 2014 Spring Carnival, Happy Trails finished second in the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) in September; progressing to a credible sixth in the Cox Plate before ending his campaign with success in the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m).
Happy Trails is currently available at 2015 Cox Plate odds of $26 for success with Ladbrokes Australia.