Happy Clapper ready for autumn assault
Caryl Williamson 3 months ago
Happy Clapper is once again on a path to run into Winx but his trainer doesn't see that as a negative.
Pat Webster's stable star begins his autumn campaign in Saturday's Group One Canterbury Stakes with a view to competing in his third Doncaster Mile.
Before the $3.5 million race, he is likely to take on the champion in the George Ryder Stakes and again in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes a week after the Doncaster.
"He won half a million dollars when he ran second to Winx in the Doncaster a couple of years ago," Webster said.
"We're happy to say hello to her again.
"He's running for good prize money and that's the main thing."
After another Doncaster second last year to It's Somewhat, Happy Clapper got his day in the sun in the spring when he won the Group One Epsom Handicap (1600m) at Randwick.
After a sixth in Winx's third Cox Plate, Happy Clapper earned another $360,000 for his second to Tosen Stardom in the Emirates Stakes at Flemington to take his prize money to more than $3.5 million.
He will be having his first start since the Emirates when he lines up on Saturday after two barrier trials, the latest a closing second to the speedy filly Houtzen.
"I'm very happy with him. His trials have been good and so has his work," Webster said.
"He's in a good place and so is his trainer.
"I just hope the rain stays away because he loves firm tracks."
Randwick was in the soft range on Tuesday with two days of fine weather forecast before further showers on Friday.
Happy Clapper was the $6 equal favourite with Clearly Innocent on Tuesday ahead of the declaration of the final field.
Three of the 13 nominations, So Si Bon, Thronum and Lord Of The Sky, are among the acceptances for the Newmarket Handicap at Flemington on Saturday.