Brave Doncaster Mile runner-up last weekend Happy Clapper could still back-up in this Saturday’s 2016 Queen Elizabeth Stakes trainer Pat Webster told the media on Sunday.
Winner of the Group 2 Villiers Stakes (1600m) in December to gain automatic entry into the $3 million Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m), the Teofilo five-year-old ran in the classic third-up on Day 1 of ‘The Championships’ at Royal Randwick.
He improved off a fifth at weight-for-age in the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) to cross two lengths second behind superstar mare Winx when dropping back to just 50.5kg in the Doncaster.
While nothing was beating Chris Waller’s now six-time Group 1 winning Street Cry four-year-old Winx, Webster was still thrilled with the gallant effort of his galloper to cross second.
Having pulled through the race well, Happy Clapper is still a hope of accepting for and running in the $4 million Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) over 400m further on the seven day turnaround back at weight-for-age this Saturday, April 9.
“It’s not out of the question,” he told AAP on the weekend.
“His two runs at weight-for-age have been good and he could go to the Queen Elizabeth and not be out of place.”
After posting her ninth win on the trot, Winx is the red hot $1.45 favourite in pre-field Queen Elizabeth Stakes betting at Ladbrokes.com.au.
Happy Clapper meanwhile is at $15 for the win, Webster confident if Winx wasn’t in the equation his horse would be a livewire hope to succeed.
Waller has twice won the Queen Elizabeth Stakes with My Kingdom Of Fife (2011) and Reliable Man (2013), while Webster is yet to saddle-up a runner in what is now the autumn’s richest race.
As well as the George Ryder Stakes where Happy Clapper was defeated just over five lengths, the horse’s other WFA run with 59kg this time in was his solid first-up fourth behind Holler in the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m).
He might have WFA experience and have the strong Randwick track record of three wins and a second from six starts, but he is yet to race over further than 1600m so the step up to 2000m for the Queen Elizabeth is the other unknown for Webster to consider.
Along with Winx, Waller also has the second best in Queen Elizabeth Stakes betting this year in the stable’s last start The BMW winner Preferment ($7) who shoots for a double last achieved by Eremein (2006) a decade ago.
The other horse high up the markets is the Robert Hickmott-trained The United States ($8) who took out the Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) over the distance at Rosehill on March 19.
Not among the original entries, connections are expected to pay the $66,000 late entry fee into the Queen Elizabeth Stakes for the Galileo six-year-old.
Stay tuned to Races.com.au for all the latest on the Sydney features this weekend, futures markets for the four Group 1 races available now at Ladbrokes.com.au – home of Odds Boost!