Trainer Paul Beshara does not have high hopes for Happy Trails in the 2016 Ladbrokes Orr Stakes and he would be happy if the veteran gelding is one of the first eight runners home in the Group 1 event at Caulfield tomorrow.
Happy Trails has not been seen at the races since he finished eighth in the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on Victoria Derby Day, but he has impressed Beshara with his track work and his fast-finishing third in a barrier trial at Morphettville Parks over 1000 metres on February 5.
While Beshara has been happy with the lead-up of Happy Trails, he does not think that he has the speed to win the Ladbrokes Orr Stakes this weekend and he told Racing Ahead that he just hopes the Good Journey gelding has a strong preparatory run for the Group 2 Peter Young Stakes (1800m) at the same venue in a fortnight.
“He is going very well and I am very happy with him,” Beshara said.
“We arrived here this morning, he has had a feed and a drink and he is having a rest at the moment.
“He has done everything good, he had a jump out and he won and he ran third in a trial and ran home nicely.
“I suppose this race tomorrow should bring him onto to the next stage.
“He is just a very competitive horse and everything has fallen into place for him.
“I wouldn’t expect him to be as fast as some of them over 1400 and if he ran in the first eight I would be very happy with that.”
Happy Trails has been ridden by the majority of the leading jockeys in Australia throughout his racing career and rising star Jamie Kah will get her first race day opportunity on the eight-year-old in the Ladbrokes Orr Stakes.
Beshara said that Kah has ridden Happy Trails on a number of occasions in track work and he believes that she will settle the veteran in the second half of the Orr Stakes field before giving him the opportunity to finish off strongly.
“She does his track gallops,” Beshara said.
“He seems to like her and she likes him.
“The horses run for her, she is a very balanced rider and let’s just hope that everything turns out well for her.
“They will go a bit fast for him over 1400 and he will be slotted away about tenth.
“I would like to see them as they come into the straight pulling out and let him run home down the straight.”
Happy Trails is currently available at 2016 Ladbrokes Orr Stakes of $34, while Lucky Hussler ($4.60) is a narrow favourite from Turn Me Loose ($4.80), Boban ($8.50) and Bow Creek ($10).