Underrated South Australian gelding Happy Trails could finally be in for the credit he deserves. That’s the view of his trainer, Paul Beshara, who celebrated his second Group 1 win with the six-year-old in the $500,000 Group 1 Turnbull Stakes at Flemington.

Happy Trails accounted for nine fellow Group 1 winners including the two favourites for the Emirates Melbourne Cup when he charged to victory over the 2000m.

“He’s a great horse, a great horse,” Beshara said. “He’s always been underrated, but maybe he’ll get the recognition he deserves now. I couldn’t believe the price he went out at. He’s always been underrated, he’s never run a bad race and now2 he’s just showed you.”

The son of Good Journey made it Group 1 win number two, following last year’s Emirates Stakes success, also at Flemington, when he finished strongest in the set-weights-and-penalties event.

After settling back along the inside, Happy Trails was held together by Dwayne Dunn until well into the straight when he set out after Puissance de Lune, who enjoyed a gun run just off the speed and dashed clear at the 300m.

Happy Trails ($26) nabbed the $4 favourite in the final 50m and edged away to score by a short neck. Fawkner ($13), loomed as a threat at the 200m, but peaked late and finished just a head back in third.

There were some big runs outside the placegetters, most notably Fiorente, who flashed home to finish fourth, just in advance of Hawkspur, who was held up for most of the first half of the straight but powered into fifth position.

Happy Trails confirmed his spot in the $3 million Sportingbet Cox Plate (2040m), in which he ran 10th last year, with the win and while Dunn said that was another step up he deserved his place.

“Obviously he’s got to take the next step again, most of the horses today were heading towards a two-mile campaign and not so much a 2000-metre race, so we’ve got to keep that in mind but he’s just so genuine,” the jockey said.

“He can put himself in the race or you can take him out of it. To the horse’s credit, he’s just so easy to work with and it’s a pleasure to be associated with him.”

The Turnbull Stakes results capped a stellar day for South Australians, who won three races on the card.

Risen From Doubt won the Listed Maribyrnong Trial Stakes for Tony McEvoy, while the Philip Stokes-prepared Molto Bene unwound an electrifying burst to win the Listed Headquarters Tavern Stakes.

Full results of those races, plus the day’s other events, are available here