The last Group 1 race of the season in Australia...
Trainer Patrick Webster doesn’t believe Winx is a big enough reason not to run his Doncaster Mile runner-up Happy Clapper in this weekend’s 2017 Queen Elizabeth Stakes field.
That’s not to say the Randwick horseman actually rates his in-form galloper any kind of chance to defeat Chris Waller’s superstar mare as Winx shoots for her seventeenth straight win in the $4 million Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) on Saturday.
Webster knows he and the rest of the field in the feature event on Day 2 of ‘The Championships’ at Royal Randwick will be running for second at best to Winx in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes results.
He would be more than happy however to snare that $760,000 second prize with Happy Clapper on the quick back-up after the six-year-old son of Teofilo finished a half-length runner-up behind It’s Somewhat in the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) last weekend.
“Definitely, all being well, he will line up in the 2000-metre race,” Webster told AAP on Sunday.
“He ran third in it last year. He’s in great form and there’s no reason not to run.”
The Doncaster second last Saturday followed a string of good runs this time in by Happy Clapper who has had three previous 2000m runs for just the one third place finish ahead of his Winx clash on Saturday.
That 2000m placing came behind Lucia Valentina (1st) and The United States (2nd) in last year’s Queen Elizabeth Stakes trifecta, as mentioned by Webster.
Happy Clapper brings the exact form line into the race again this autumn as the galloper also finished second in last year’s Doncaster Mile behind Winx.
Winx hasn’t lost a race since the Australian Oaks as a three-year-old and Happy Clapper last clashed with the world’s best turf horse running sixth as an $81 roughie at Moonee Valley in the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) last October.
No surprises Winx is at $1.15 already odds-on in Queen Elizabeth Stakes odds at Ladbrokes.com.au before the official field is even released on Tuesday morning.
Happy Clapper pays $26 in those futures Queen Elizabeth Stakes betting markets, with the other key chances being Hartnell ($13) and last year’s second placegetter The United States ($15).
Queen Elizabeth Stakes 2017 final acceptances close at 9:00am (AEDT) on Tuesday morning so now is the time to check out the all-in odds on Winx and her rivals at Ladbrokes.com.au.
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