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Trainer Pat Webster has revealed that stable star Happy Clapper is likely to begin his Spring Carnival campaign in the Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on September 2nd.
Happy Clapper has been a strong and consistent performer for the Randwick trainer through recent seasons and was unlucky not to break through for a maiden win at the highest level in autumn after running on to finish a close second behind It’s Somewhat in the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m).
Last seen finishing a credible fifth behind Winx in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m), the Teofilo gelding performed well in a Randwick 1000m barrier trial this morning and Webster believes that he will be ready to fire come Memsie Stakes Day.
“That’s probably his best first trial ever so it’s very good,” Webster told Racing Victoria.
“He’s very big and we haven’t pushed him just yet but he’s a horse that doesn’t take a lot.
“He’ll trial again on the 21st (August) and he’ll either resume in the Tramway or the one on the same day over 1400m at Caulfield (Memsie Stakes).
“It (Memsie) is a big option because of the great prizemoney, there’s a lot more on offer than the Tramway and at the end of the day the horse comes first but money comes second.”
Happy Clapper ran well to finish sixth behind Winx in the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) last year and Webster confirmed that he will again be set for the weight-for-age feature this time in.
“I’d already nominated him for the Cox Plate before he trialled but I would’ve definitely nominated him after he trialled,” Webster said.
“I think he’s better for the preparation he had in Melbourne last year and while it might scare a lot of people off to run against Winx, we’ve run second to her before and picked up a lot of money and I wouldn’t mind running second to her again.”
Happy Clapper has posted seven wins a further eight minors throughout his twenty-five career starts, for more than $2.2 million in prize money.
The seven-year-old is currently available at 2017 Cox Plate odds of $67 with leading online bookie Ladbrokes.com.au.
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