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Pat Webster’s $2 million earner Happy Clapper could avoid a first-up Group 1 run in Melbourne and resume racing Saturday week in the 2017 Tramway Stakes at Royal Randwick.
The Sydney-trained Teofilo seven-year-old hasn’t raced since a fifth to champion mare Winx in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) back on April 8.
Happy Clapper has been putting in top efforts in subsequent Sydney barrier trials and Webster is looking to kick off the horse’s spring carnival in the Group 2 $200,000 Tramway Stakes (1400m) on September 2 at home.
While there is also a chance Happy Clapper could head south for the Group 1 $1 million Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on the same day, the Tramway Stakes is the preferred option at this stage.
“We’ve still got a couple of days to decide exactly what we want and whether we travel to Melbourne for the Memsie but Sydney is looking likely,” Webster told Racing Victoria.
“We’ve got to weigh up what is the best option, taking into account travel and what is ahead for the rest of the preparation.”
Happy Clapper tuned up for his spring starter with a Monday morning trial over 1045m at Randwick where he finished a very brave third behind the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained Doomben 10,000 winner Redzel (1st) and The Galaxy champion Russian Revolution (2nd).
“I was very happy with his trial again this morning, hopefully he comes through it in good shape and we could be in for a good preparation,” Webster said.
The galloper’s other recent trial produced a third over 1000m at Randwick behind Winx who franked that form with a come from behind winning thriller last weekend in the Warwick Stakes.
Still lightly raced for his age, Happy Clapper has enjoyed seven career wins from 25 starts to date with his latest turf triumph taking place in the Group 3 Newcastle Newmarket Handicap (1400m) on March 17.
That broke a notable winning drought for the gelding going back to the Group 2 Villiers Stakes (1600m) in December of 2015.
Also Tramway Stakes-bound this season is the Kris Lees-trained mare Invincible Gem who comes out of the same Monday morning trial as Happy Clapper.
The four-year-old daughter of I Am Invincible ran seventh in the open hit-out, her first public appearance since winning the Group 2 Missile Stakes (1200m) first-up on August 5.
In the Missile Stakes Invincible Gem defeated her three-time Group 1 winning stablemate Le Romain who crossed one and a quarter-lengths back second.
Le Romain chases his first win since beating home champion sprinter Chautauqua in the mud at Randwick on March 4 in the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m).
The now five-year-old son of Hard Spun went on to record to subsequent Group 1 seconds over the autumn when runner-up to Winx in the George Ryder Stakes (1500m) and Tivaci in the All Aged Stakes (1400m).
Lees lined the horse up in Monday’s trial where Le Romain crossed fifth to Redzel ahead of his next-up run in the 2017 Memsie Stakes.
All-in Memsie Stakes betting online at Ladbrokes.com.au has Le Romain installed as the $6.50 second favourite behind Darren Weir’s defending champion Black Heart Bart and The Goodwood winner Vega Magic who sit at the top of the betting at $6.
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