Local galloper Zahspeed remains the solid...
He may have been beaten over the distance in Sydney as the odds-on favourite last weekend but Happy Clapper is still likely to face Winx in the Ladbrokes Cox Plate 2017 next race.
Pat Webster’s seven-year-old son of Teofilo has reportedly pulled up well after finishing second to upset winner Classic Uniform at Randwick on The Everest Day in the Group 3 $500,000 Craven Plate (2000m).
Happy Clapper came off a lead-up win in the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) and was tipped to dominate the Craven Plate results from the inside alley as the $1.60 short-priced favourite.
Things came undone however with Happy Clapper unable to reel in the last start Hill Stakes winner Classic Uniform, the Gary Moore-trained Al Maher five-year-old doing the double.
The Craven Plate was the first run for Happy Clapper over 2000m since the autumn when he finished a distant fifth behind Winx in the Group $4 million Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m).
The horse also faced Chris Waller’s brilliant daughter of Street Cry over the distance when sixth, eleven lengths off the mare in the Group 1 $3 million Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley last October.
Winx shoots for a third Cox Plate trophy on October 28 and is $1.20 in the pre-field markets at Ladbrokes.com.au to emulate Kingston Town with a trio of wins in the weight-for-age classic.
Occupying the second line of Ladbrokes Cox Plate betting at $17 is the Tony McEvoy-trained Domesday colt Royal Symphony who is set to take on the dual defending champion on the back of his fourth in the Group 1 Ladbrokes Caulfield Guineas (1600m) behind $101 winner Mighty Boss last weekend.
Happy Clapper meanwhile has also now been confirmed for a second shot at the Cox Plate in 2017 and is a $34 chance in the markets to score the very unlikely upset.
“It’s only Tuesday but at this stage he has come through last Saturday better than I had thought he might,” Webster told Racing Victoria.
“He ran sixth in the Cox Plate last year and is probably a better horse and in better shape this time around.”
The Cox Plate ride on Happy Clapper is still up for grabs, while McEvoy’s nephew Kerrin McEvoy has been offered the mount on Royal Symphony who gets into the race on just 49.5kg as a three-year-old.
McEvoy however could turn down the ride on the three-year-old with the hoop also a chance to partner the Charlie Appleby-trained English raider Folkswood.
Folkswood put his Cox Plate credentials on the line on Sunday winning the Listed Cranbourne Cup (2025m) with 59kg on his back, McEvoy aboard for the ride where the Exceed And Excel gelding beat Berisha (2nd) by nearly three lengths.
The Godolphin-raced Folkswood is now into $26 for the Cox Plate win.
To check out the updated Cox Plate 2017 betting odds on Winx and her rivals this spring visit Ladbrokes.com.au today.
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