Having already competed almost 30 Group One races in Australia, a new challenge awaits Happy Trails.
The Paul Beshara-trained eight-year-old will ramp up his preparations on Monday for another autumn campaign before a potential mission in Hong Kong.
“He’ll have a jump-out on Monday then he’ll go into an official trial on February 5,” Beshara said.
“Everything is good with him and he’ll resume in the C F Orr Stakes.”
The Group Two Peter Young Stakes and Group One Australian Cup (2000m) are also targets in Melbourne, with the latter scheduled to be the gelding’s 30th Group One start.
The Championships at Randwick are an option for Beshara with Happy Trails but the Adelaide trainer is concerned about striking wet tracks which Happy Trails has done in previous trips to Sydney in the autumn.
“We’re looking at Hong Kong,” Beshara said.
The Group One QEII Cup (2000m) at Sha Tin on April 24 is the race Beshara has in his sights.
“If everything was good we would also look at the Queen Elizabeth Stakes in Sydney, but he just can’t run on wet tracks,” the trainer said.
“If everything went perfectly, it would be nice to run in the Queen Elizabeth in Sydney and then go on to the QEII Cup in Hong Kong. But Sydney is too wet all the time.”
Happy Trails had a five-week spell after his unplaced Mackinnon Stakes run at the end of October.
The gelding has had 57 starts for seven wins and 17 placings and more than $3 million prize money.
Three of his wins have been at Group One level in the 2012 Emirates Stakes, the 2013 Turnbull Stakes and 2014 Mackinnon Stakes.
His 2015 campaign was the first spring carnival in four years that he failed to win a Group One race, although he went close with his second to Criterion in the Caulfield Stakes.
Beshara said he and Happy Trails’ owners had not yet decided on a jockey for the C F Orr Stakes.
Article from JustHorseRacing.com.au