AJC Australian Derby placegetter Retrieve might not be the only three-year-old to try his luck at weight-for-age at Randwick on Saturday.
Adelaide trainer Paul Beshara is still tossing up between a Queen Elizabeth Stakes or Frank Packer Plate start for his luckless galloper Happy Trails.
He will decide which race to target after the gelding’s final piece of work on Tuesday – and a round-table discussion with the horse’s owners.
Happy Trails, twice placed at Group level in a 10-start career, turned in one of the genuine eye-catching runs on the first day of the Randwick carnival.
After missing the start, Happy Trails flew late with Damien Oliver in the saddle to finish fourth in the Carbine Club Stakes.
“You couldn’t miss the run, could you,” Beshara said.
“Damien wasn’t happy with his ride and he’s desperate to stay with him which is a great sign.”
Beshara holds no fears for Happy Trails taking on older horses if he could scrape into the Group One Queen Elizabeth field.
“There are a few out of form horses in there but with 23 noms he’s not guaranteed a start,” Beshara said.
“I won’t have that problem if I decide to go for the Packer Plate.”
Both races will be run over 2000 metres – a trip his trainer says is an optimum distance at this stage of Happy Trails’ career.
“Damien said he would easily run 2400 metres and he was keen for me to take him to Brisbane for the Queensland Derby,” Beshara said.
“But I’m going to spell him, let him grow and then get him ready for the Melbourne spring.”
Song Shan is another three-year-old nominated for the Queen Elizabeth with trainer Anthony Cummings also considering two other races for the filly.
The Queen Elizabeth honour roll is sparsely populated with three-year-old winners with Intergaze (1997) the most recent of the age group to triumph.