This Saturday, it will be six years to the day an icon of SA racing, Happy Trails celebrated his first Group 1 victory in the 2012 Emirates Stakes.
Therefore it’s fitting that this Saturday, the 10th of November at Morphettville the final Spring Bonanza Final of the carnival will take place, celebrating the career of the three time Group 1 winner.
‘Roy’ as he was affectionately known, will go down as one of the all-time favourites of Australian racing. The Paul Beshara trained gelding amassed over $3.3 million in prize money after costing his owners just $11k at the sales.
While it’s going to be tough to emulate the success of the horse they are running in honour of, another full field will be desperate to add another winner’s cheque to their name in the $100k final.
It was hard not to be impressed by the win of the Stuart Padman trained Debt Collector last start. The four-year-old flashed home to give Raquel Clark her fifth win on Cox Plate Day and the two are set to combine again on Saturday. Clark continues her amazing run, after claiming another four winners at Port Lincoln on Wednesday. Debt Collector’s drawn well again in barrier four and drops half a kilo off his last run. With Clark sticking on in and with the form she’s in, he’s going to be very tough to beat once again.
Hoping to turn the tables on Debt Collector will be Going Gaga. The Michael Hickmott trained gelding finished second in that race and has been in a rare patch of form, finishing in the placings in his last five starts. He finished almost as strongly as Debt Collector in that race and drops 2kg from that run which puts him well into calculations for Saturday. The in-form Todd Pannell jumps aboard and is a huge show to exact revenge on Debt Collector.
The other horse to come out of that race with a good chance looks to be Midnight Storm. He will drop 4kg off that last run and will get the services of Georgina Cartwright who rode him to his last win, two starts back where he won nicely over 1300m. His best from can put him in the finish once again.
The other strong form race for Saturday’s feature looks to be the 1250m race on Cox Plate Day. Like to Think produced a strong on-pace win there and broke away from the field, including the fast finishing Miss Wahoo to claim the race by two and a half lengths. Victorian hoop Harry Coffey will once again to team up with trainer Kym Hann and the five-year-old. Hann has a great record when bringing them over from across the border and if his horse can produce another great run like he did two weeks ago, he’s going to be giving the field something to chase down once again.
Runner-up in that race, Miss Wahoo will be sweating on a start for Jamie Kah and Tony McEvoy. Currently sitting as the second emergency in the field, the mare will relish the step-up to 1400m where she is Group 2 placed and gets in very nicely with 56kg. There’s no doubt she’s a classy horse and she’ll be ready to produce her best on Saturday.
The other runner who creates a lot of intrigue is the top-weight, Life of Waldo. The five-year-old has won four on the trot and was too good for his rivals at Naracoorte last start. The Glenn Thornton trained gelding has a fantastic record on good and synthetic tracks and will be hoping for the weather to improve heading into Saturday. He has been in great form and if he gets the conditions to suit, he’s going to be one to watch at nice each way odds.