Trainer Paul Beshara has revealed he will allow the work completed by popular gelding Happy Trails through the coming weeks dictate whether or not the horse will be set for a final racing campaign through the forthcoming 2016 Spring Carnival.
A multiple Group 1 winner at varying distances, Happy Trails has posted an impressive seven wins and seventeen minors through a total of sixty-one career starts, on his way to more than $3.2 million in prize money.
Having returned to light duties at the beginning of June, Beshara revealed the he will slowly increase the Good Journey gelding’s workload through the next few weeks in an effort to gauge the horse’s desire to continue campaigning.
“We’ll start increasing his work and we’ll know over the next six weeks whether he’s competitive enough to race again,” Beshara told AAP.
“We’d like him to but it’s up to him.
“He’s eight years old, rising nine. We’d just like to see how he goes.
“The owner Erica Dickmann has always said to me, `any sign of him not wanting to be there, we’ll just retire him’.
“If he looks all good he’ll definitely have a spring campaign and we might even look at Perth.
“It all depends on the next six weeks and how he wants to be.”
Happy Trails made his racing debut during May of 2010 and immediately stamped himself as one to watch, but broke through for his first win at the highest level with an impressive performance for success in the 2012 edition of the Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m).
Returning in 2013 in similarly strong form, Happy Trails won the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) most notably before running a close second to Shamus Award in the Group 1 Cox Plate (2000m).
Capping a typically smart 2014 preparation with a classy win in the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m), Happy Trails was unable to return to winning form in 2015, which still included several placings at the highest level.
Resuming this year for tenth in the Group 1 CF Orr Stakes (1400m), the rising nine-year-old placed seventh in each of the Group 2 Peter Young Stakes (1800m) and Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) before ending his autumn campaign an impressive fifth in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) on Day 2 of The Championships.