Happy Clapper Heads 2016 Bill Ritchie Handicap Nominations

Patrick Webster’s consistent local galloper Happy Clapper is one of the highest-rated Bill Richie Handicap 2016 nominations taken for the George Main Stakes Day support act in Sydney this Saturday.

Happy Clapper

Happy Clapper is one of the top-rated 2016 Bill Ritchie Handicap nominees for this Saturday at Royal Randwick. Photo: Steve Hart.

A total of 19 middle-distance sprinters are nominated for the $125,000 Group 3 Bill Ritchie Handicap (1400m) at Royal Randwick including Teofilo six-year-old Happy Clapper who will race second-up if accepted.

A three-time winner from eight starts at the track, Happy Clapper enjoyed a stellar autumn in Sydney highlighted by his Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) second to Winx and third to Lucia Valentina in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m).

First-up on September 3 he ran fifth to Hauraki in the Group 2 Tramway Stakes (1400m) and returns to the track and distance this weekend looking to improve and add to his strong second-up record (4-2-1-0).

Equal first on the Bill Ritchie Handicap ballot with Happy Clapper is the Kris Lees-trained Le Romain.

The Randwick Guineas winner from the autumn is nominated for a host of races this weekend in both Sydney and Melbourne including taking on Winx in the Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m) at home.

Lees will make a call later in the week as to the next-up option for his consistent Hard Spun four-year-old who was last seen running second in the Tramway Stakes a fortnight ago.

Sitting high-up the pre-field Bill Ritchie Handicap odds at Ladbrokes.com.au meanwhile are the Chris Waller-trained Tsaritsa ($4.60) and the John O’Shea-trained Federal ($5).

Waller dominates the Bill Ritchie Handicap nominations entering seven from his record-breaking stables.

Tsaritsa is the best fancied by the bookies, the Dane Shadow mare coming off a first-up third at the track and distance in a Benchmark 92.

Winner of the Group 2 Queensland Guineas (1600m) during the winter, the four-year-old will drop back from 59kg in her resuming run to the 54kg minimum in the Bill Ritchie and is tipped for improvement.

Waller’s other headline entries are Vanbrugh and Torgersen.

Winner of the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) at the track as a three-year-old last spring, Vanbrugh comes off a fifth to Winx in the Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m).

He is also nominated to take her on again in the 2016 George Main Stakes this weekend, while Torgersen comes off a second in the same lead-up race that produces Tsaritsa.

O’Shea’s second elect in futures markets Federal meanwhile comes off a first-up second to Felines at the track in the Group 3 Concorde Stakes (1000m).

He has a great Randwick track record (4-2-1-0) and is also well suited to the extra metres of the Bill Ritchie (6-3-2-0).

Other notable Bill Ritchie Handicap entries include Fred Cowell’s last start Group 3 Lord Mayors Cup winner over the mile at Doomben in May Mighty Lucky and the Matthew Dale-trained Penny Edition Stakes winner in Adelaide last time out Rocket Commander.

Check out the full Bill Ritchie Handicap 2016 nominations below, the markets out on Wednesday through Ladbrokes.com.au following final acceptances.

2016 Bill Ritchie Handicap Nominations

Randwick Racecourse – 17/09/2016

# Form (Last 10) Horse Sex Age Trainer Ballot Wgt. Hcp. Rating
1 111x4523x5 HAPPY CLAPPER G 6 Patrick Webster 1= 59kg 108
2 2x12217x22 LE ROMAIN G 4 Kris Lees 1= 59kg 108
3 3151x1261x MIGHTY LUCKY G 7 Fred Cowell 3= 58.5kg 107
4 447204x77x SPIRITJIM (FR) H 7 Chris Waller 3= 58.5kg 107
5 947x400x27 SADLER’S LAKE G 5 Chris Waller 5 55.5kg 101
6 57x3x12x68 COSMIC CUBE (NZ) G 6 Chris Waller 6= 55kg 100
7 x2380x05x6 SONS OF JOHN G 6 Jason Attard 6= 55kg 100
8 212x1442x2 FEDERAL G 5 John O’Shea 8= 54.5kg 99
9 111x0649x5 VANBRUGH H 4 Chris Waller 8= 54.5kg 99
10 33x574126x LADY LE FAY (NZ) M 6 Chris Waller 10 54kg 97
11 4517121×17 TESTASHADOW G 5 Gary Portelli 11= 54kg 92
12 612x1113x3 TSARITSA M 4 Chris Waller 11= 54kg 92
13 16x0x02466 ZIN ZAN EDDIE G 7 Matthew Smith 13 54kg 91
14 6622333×31 ROCKET COMMANDER M 5 Matthew Dale 14 54kg 90
15 20x1232x15 HIS MAJESTY (IRE) G 7 Kim Waugh 15 54kg 86
16 x887203x52 TORGERSEN (NZ) H 4 Chris Waller 16 54kg 84
17 22x11414x3 HANDFAST G 4 John O’Shea 17= 54kg 82
18 322x0013x7 KELLYVILLE FLYER M 7 Jason Attard 17= 54kg 82
19 116x100x41 WAR JET G 6 Joe Cleary 19 54kg 81

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