Multiple Group 1 winner Happy Trails will be a surprise entry for the 2015 Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on November 3 when nominations close on September 1.
Morphettville trainer Paul Beshara said that the 3200m Melbourne Cup could be an option for Happy Trails at the end of the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival if his form holds up throughout his campaign.
Happy Trails is better known for his deeds over 1600m and 2000m with Group 1 wins at both of those distances but Beshara would be willing to test the eight year old over the ‘two mile’.
“And if everything goes well he can have a crack at the Melbourne Cup,” Beshara told The Advertiser.
“He’s a very relaxed horse. He goes to sleep and runs home, so that sort of style will suit him.
“We’ll throw in a nom for the Melbourne Cup and see what happens.”
“Two miles will be new for him but three-quarters of the field wouldn’t have raced at it before, and his style of racing will suit.
“They don’t change the winning post, it’s just the barriers are a little bit further around.”
But Besahara did emphasize that the Group 1 $3m William Hill Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 24 was the race that he has targeted for Happy Trails.
“But the Cox Plate is the main aim again,” Beshara said.
All going well, Happy Trails will be lining up for his fourth attempt at the Cox Plate, the race he almost captured in 2013 when beaten a whisker by three year old Shamus Award.
Happy Trails’ other two attempts at the ‘The Weight For Age Championship of Australasia’ resulted in a tenth to Ocean Park in 2012 and a close up sixth behind super Irish horse Adelaide last year.
The giant chestnut then went on to win the Group 1 $1m Longines Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on November at his next start.
Happy Trails other two Group 1 successes came in the 2012 Group 1 $1m Emirates Stakes (1600m) at Flemington and in the $500,000 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington during the 2013 Melbourne Spring Carnival.
Beshara said that Happy Trails has pulled up well following his first up sixth to Red Eclipse in the Group 3 $120,000 David Coles AM Spring Stakes (1200m) at Morphettville on August 8 and is headed to Caulfield this Saturday to take on a hot field in the Group 1 $400,000 New Zealand Bloodstock Memsie Stakes (1400m).
In early Cox Plate betting with Ladbrokes.com.au Happy Trails is marked at $26 with the English galloper Arod and Autumn Carnival weight for age star Contributer heading the market order at $11.