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Star weight-for-age performer Happy Trails will be a surprise nomination for the Melbourne Cup with trainer Paul Beshara keeping the distance test as an option.

After two wet track defeats in Sydney during the autumn, Happy Trails was turned out for a spell, returning to Beshara’s stable at the beginning of this month.

Happy Trails, Damien Oliver

Happy Trails, Damien Oliver

The trainer will follow much the same spring path as he has for the past three years with Happy Trails.

“He’ll follow the same program as last year,” Beshara said.

“The Spring Stakes, the Memsie, the Underwood, the Turnbull and then the Cox Plate.

“We’ll also throw in a nomination for the Melbourne Cup,” Beshara said.

“As he’s getting older he’s becoming more dour and then we can just play it by ear and see how he goes along.”

Happy Trails won the 2014 Mackinnon Stakes after finishing sixth behind Adelaide in the Cox Plate.

A year earlier he ran the closest seconds to three-year-old Shamus Award and has yet to run beyond the 2040 metres of the Cox Plate.

Beshara said he was also entertaining thoughts of taking Happy Trails to Hong Kong at the end of the year, or next autumn.

“He’s had his injections and maybe we could look at Hong Kong at the end of this year or even next year and then go to the Singapore Cup,” Beshara said.

“I love Sydney and I like going to Sydney but the trouble is it just rains all the time and he can’t run in the rain.”

Happy Trails has come to Sydney for the past four years but struck wet tracks every time with his best performance third in the 2013 Doncaster Mile.

 
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