Happy Trails (Good Journey – Madame Flurry, by Perugino) left Moonee Valley racecourse before he could take his place in the Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes but the September 14 drama may have been a blessing after the gelding’s win in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington.
Stewards withdrew Happy Trails from the Group 2 Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes after deciding there was a possibility trainer Paul Beshara treated the horse on raceday but the son of Cornerstone Stud resident Good Journey may have in fact relished the three-week break between his Memsie and Underwood Stakes outings.
Like many others, a slow speed cruelled Happy Trails’s chances in the Underwood Stakes but he still ran a respectable fourth to It’s A Dundeel before the six-year-old relished a return to the spacious Flemington track for the Turnbull Stakes.
Happy Trails won the Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m) at the Melbourne track last year before taking out another Flemington Group 1 success at the generous odds of $31 with Dwayne Dunn aboard.
Dunn kept Happy Trails comfortable in the second half of the field before improving into contention from the 600 metres. The jockey was able to find clear running on Happy Trails while some of his main rivals, including Hawkspur, Royal Descent and Super Cool had interrupted in the straight.
Happy Trails produced a last lunge to beat Puissance De Lune (Shamardal – Princess Serena, by Unbridled’s Song) and Fawkner (Reset – Dane Belltar, by Danewin) to become a two-time Group 1 winner.
“He’s a great horse, a great horse,” Beshara said. “He’s always been underrated, but maybe he’ll get the recognition he deserves now.
“I couldn’t believe the price he went out at. He’s always been underrated, he’s never run a bad race and today he’s just showed you.”
Happy Trails is one of two Group 1 winners sired by Good Journey but the gelding took his earnings to more than $1.58 million after Beshara paid just $11,000 for him at the 2009 Adelaide Magic Millions Yearling Sale.
Happy Trails’s dam Madame Flurry (Perugino – Flurry, by Warmington) has a two-year-old filly by Dane Shadow while she foaled a half-brother to the classy galloper by Bernardini in 2013.