Happy Trails’ Cox Plate dreams were given a boost when he scored a deserved first up win in Saturday’s Group Three Spring Stakes (1200m) at Morphettville.
Allowed to settle back, as his customary racing pattern, Happy Trails sprinted home magnificently in the home straight to reel in recent Flemington winner Gossip Girl and win by a head.
Reigning Caulfield Cup winner Southern Speed, positioned near Happy Trails for much of the race, worked home stylishly in the straight, another three parts of a length back, but was never a threat to the winner.
Local trainer Paul Beshara, who bought Happy Trails for just $11,000 at the 2009 Magic Millions Adelaide Yearling Sale, was thrilled after race and was bullish about his future plans.
“He really deserved that win and that might keep a few (knockers) quiet now,” Beshara told the Sunday Mail.
“That’s the best he’s ever gone first up. He’s so much more mature this time in.”
“They better watch out in Melbourne because this horse has never been better,” Beshara added.
Happy Trails was facing the starter for the first time since a fast finishing sixth – when just 1.4 lengths from More Joyous in the Doncaster Handicap at Randwick.
He went into Saturday’s race after winning a 1000 metre open trial on the Parks track at Morphettville on Monday.
Beshara said Happy Trails would run next in the Group Two Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on September 1.
He would then most likely contest the Group Two Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley a fortnight later in a major lead up to the Cox Plate.
Happy Trails, a five-year-old gelded son of Cornerstone Stud’s Good Journey, has won over $367,000 for his jubilant owners, the Dickman family.
The handsome chestnut is one of two winners, from three to race for the beautifully related Perugino mare Madame Flurry.
A winner at 1000 metres, Madame Flurry is a three quarter sister to group placed Flurry’s Gem (dam of Selangor Gold Cup winner Power of Khan) and half sister to stakes winner Lake Villa and stakes placegetters Birdbrain and Flurry’s Autumn (dam of Royal Sash, Bronc etc).
Happy Trails was bred by South Australian Thoroughbred Breeders’ Vice-President Brenton Parker and was sold at the Morphettville based sale through the draft of Mill Park.
Winner: Happy Trails
Race: SAJC Spring Stakes G3 (1200m)
Breeding: Good Journey-Madame Flurry (Nureyev)
Sold for: $11,000
Sale: 2009 Magic Millions Adelaide Yearling Sale
Vendor: Mill Park (As Agent)
Buyer: Paul Beshara
Owner(s): P & Mrs E Dickman & J & Mrs K Dickman
Trainer: Paul Beshara (Morphettville)
PICS – Jenny Barnes.