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The money on veteran galloper Happy Clapper continues to roll in for the Pat Webster-trained horse to break his Group 1 maiden as favourite in Epsom Handicap 2017 betting this weekend.
The seven-year-old is one of 14 milers in the mix for Saturday’s Group 1 $1 million Epsom Handicap (1600m) at Royal Randwick, Happy Clapper boasting an outstanding record at the track and distance.
Happy Clapper is drawn in gate four with Blake Shinn, who won the race back in 2009 aboard Rock Kingdom, booked for the ride.
No seven-year-old has won the Epsom Handicap since Super Impose for his second in 1991, but Shinn is full of pre-race confidence after his mount’s excellent performance in the Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m).
The dual Doncaster Mile runner-up gave super mare Winx something to chase home in that Randwick mile clash a fortnight back and now Happy Clapper is out to emulate Hauraki (2016), improving on a lead-up second in the George Main to take out the Epsom Handicap.
Occupying the second line of the Epsom Handicap betting markets at $5.50, out from $5, is the Chris Waller-trained Egg Tart.
There’s been a cloud of doubt over whether or not the dual Oaks winner will take her spot in the Epsom Handicap field after the four-year-old daughter of Sebring received veterinary treatment for eye irritation.
Waller remains confident Egg Tart, who came up trumps with barrier one, will make the race ahead of a second inspection by the vets on Thursday.
Single-figure fancies have dominated the recent Epsom Handicap results and this spring there are a further two hopes currently under $10 for the win.
Waller’s duo Comin’ Through ($8) and Tom Melbourne ($9) are both in ace form and are drawn alongside each other in barriers 12 and 13 respectively.
Brazilian hoop Joao Moreira is booked to ride 51kg lightweight Comin’ Through who chases a third win on the trot, the four-year-old Fastnet Rock entire last seen winning the Group 3 Bill Ritchie Handicap (1400m).
Tom Melbourne was runner-up in that same lead-up race, which the Waller-trained Boban won ahead of his 2014 Epsom Handicap success for the stable, and is out to go one better on the weekend.
Glen Boss takes over for Shinn aboard Dylan Thomas seven-year-old Tom Melbourne who has run second in all three of his starts this campaign, including also behind Happy Clapper in the Group 2 Tramway Stakes (1400m).
Tom Melbourne carried 55kg that day and 57kg in the Bill Ritchie, so will appreciate getting back to 52kg on the weekend.
Waller has prepared three of the past four Epsom Handicap winners, while five of the past six champions in the spring classic jumped from a double digit barrier.
That included the Grahame Begg-trained Secret Admirer (16 of 17 in 2011), giving Waller hope for his also widely drawn mare Foxplay who jumps from barrier 14 of 14 on Saturday.
Hugh Bowman of Winx fame partners the Group 1 winning daughter of Foxwedge, the grey third-up for the season after a second in the Warwick Stakes and third in the George Main Stakes behind in star stablemate.
Foxplay is at $10 in the latest Epsom Handicap markets and is the other heaviest-weighted chance in the race with 54.5kg outside of Happy Clapper.
Check out the full Epsom Handicap 2017 odds online below, betting open now at Ladbrokes.com.au.
2017 Epsom Handicap Betting
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