Trainer Paul Beshara has confirmed that Happy Trails will start his Spring Racing Carnival campaign in the 2015 Spring Stakes at Morphettville on August 8.
Happy Trails has kicked off his past three spring preparations in the Spring Stakes, winning the race in 2012, and Beshara told Sky Racing HQ that the veteran gelding will contest the race for the fourth year in a row before he heads to Melbourne for the Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on August 29, the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on September 26, the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on October 4 and the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 24.
“He will go into that,” Beshara said of the Spring Stakes.
“I will put him in that and then we will go the Memsie, Underwood, Turnbull and Cox Plate everything going well.
“I don’t think he could win it (the Spring Stakes), but you would want him hitting the line.
“He needs to try and get fit.”
Happy Trails took out the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) during the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival and he started his autumn campaign with promising performances in the Group 1 Orr Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on February 14, the Group 1 Peter Young Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on February 28 and the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington on March 14, but he failed to handle the wet tracks in both the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Royal Randwick on April 6 and the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Royal Randwick on April 11.
Beshara admits that Happy Trails’ spring lead-up had been plagued by the wet weather in Adelaide over the past two months, but he is happy with the condition of the rising eight-year-old and is confident that he can maintain his form during his upcoming campaign.
“He is looking good,” Beshara said.
“He is not really wrapped about the wet weather, but neither am I.
“Everything is good, he loves his stable life and he is keen enough to be here.
“He is going good.”
Happy Trails was purchased for just $11,000 at the 2009 Magic Millions Adelaide Yearling Sale, but he has recorded three Group 1 victories and he has accumulated over $3 million in prizemoney for connections.
He is currently available at 2015 Cox Plate odds of $26 while unlikely runner Able Friend ($9) and Godolphin-owned Contributer ($9) are narrow favourites from Queen Elizabeth Stakes winner Criterion ($10) and Gai Waterhouse-trained Pornichet ($10).