Adelaide galloper Happy Trails (Good Journey – Madame Flurry, by Perugino) became the second Australian Group 1 winner for Cornerstone Stud stallion Good Journey (Nureyev – Chimes Of Freedom, by Private Account) with his fighting effort to claim Saturday’s Emirates Stakes (1600m) at Flemington.
The gelding showed he was on the right track with his fast-finishing sixth in the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) in April before finishing fifth at his next attempt at the highest level in the Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington in early October. A fair Cox Plate effort pushed the gelding from the minds of most, allowing him to step out as a $13 chance in the Emirates Stakes.
Happy Trails settled midfield for jockey Damien Oliver before simply outfighting Fawkner (Reset – Dane Belltar, by Danewin) and Secret Admirer (Dubawi – Secret Illusion, by Secret Savings) to score narrowly. The chestnut joined the 2008 Group1 WATC Derby (2400m) winner Grand Journey (Good Journey – Grand Prospect, by Flying Spur) as an Australian Group 1 winner sired by Good Journey.
“I’ve never felt this good in my life. When we won the Dato (Tan Chin Nam Stakes) it felt good but this is the best,” Happy Trails’s trainer Paul Beshara said.
“This horse is a really honest horse and he just gives you 150 percent, that’s all he does. He’s always there but today is his day and he deserves it.”
Beshara paid just $11,000 for Happy Trails at the 2009 Adelaide Magic Millions Yearling Sale. The five-year-old’s Emirates Stakes win banked $600,000 for connections, taking his prizemoney to more than $1.2 million from his 29 starts.
Happy Trails is one of two winners from three to race out of the Naracoorte maiden winner Madame Flurry (Perugino – Flurry, by Warmington). Madame Flurry’s last foal was a Dane Shadow filly foaled in 2011.