Whether $3 million earner Happy Trails adds to his 31 Group One appearances will be determined in the coming weeks.
Happy Trails returned to work on June 1 and trainer Paul Beshara said although he would like the rising nine-year-old to race on this spring, he and the horse’s owner were also prepared for the grand campaigner’s retirement.
Beshara said the triple Group One winner had done some work on a water walker and been trotting and cantering.
“We’ll start increasing his work and we’ll know over the next six weeks whether he’s competitive enough to race again,” Beshara said.
“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 everything goes well and Happy Trails is still showing a zest for racing, Beshara says he will appear at another spring carnival.
Happy Trails has raced at the past six Melbourne spring carnivals and has Group One wins in the 2012 Emirates Stakes, 2013 Turnbull Stakes and 2014 Mackinnon Stakes.
“If he looks all good he’ll definitely have a spring campaign and we might even look at Perth,” Beshara said.
“It all depends on the next six weeks and how he wants to be.”
Among the 31 Group One races Happy Trails has contested during his 61 starts to date, four of those have been in Cox Plates.
For Beshara, Happy Trails has been “a champion”.
“The Group One races he’s run in have just been incredible,” he said.