2017 Epsom Handicap Results: Happy Clapper Wins

September 30, 2017

2017 Epsom Handicap Results: Happy Clapper Wins

After a half-century of training horses Patrick Webster was close to tears after breaking the duck with the always-honest Happy Clapper saluting for the punters in the Epsom Handicap 2017 results.

Happy Clapper

Happy Clapper won the 2017 Epsom Handicap giving trainer Pat Webster his first Group 1 success. Photo: Steve Hart.

Webster has prepared a host of Group 2 and 3 winners over his 50 year career, but until today the elite level victory had eluded him.

Gutsy Teofilo seven-year-old Happy Clapper changed all that at Royal Randwick, the veteran at his pet track and distance in the Group 1 $1 million Epsom Handicap (1600m).

“50 years this year I’ve been training,” an emotional Webster told Channel 7.

“I just can’t believe it.

“There’s Clapper, Clapper’s just Clapper.”

A dual Doncaster Mile runner-up over the 1600m at the track, Happy Clapper also finished a close fourth when under a length beaten by the winner Hauraki in last year’s Epsom Handicap and was second past the post behind Winx last start in the Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m).

For the second year on the trot, that George Main Stakes second to Winx form held-up in the Epsom Handicap with Happy Clapper charging to the line ahead of the Chris Waller-trained perennial runner-up Tom Melbourne.

Saluting as favourite in Epsom Handicap betting for the first time since Winx (2015), Happy Clapper also became the first seven-year-old winner of the time-honoured Sydney Spring Racing Carnival feature since Super Impose for his second back in 1991.

Ridden to victory by Blake Shinn, who also enjoyed an Epsom victory aboard Rock Kingdom in 2009 for Gai Waterhouse, Happy Clapper was one of the best out of the barriers this afternoon settling third on the rails behind the leader Red Excitement.

The Team Waller-trained contingent meanwhile were mainly at the back of the field, Foxplay ridden stone cold at the rear with in-form lightweights Comin’ Through and Tom Melbourne also well back in transit.

At the 600m Comin’ Through, last start winner of the Group 3 Bill Ritchie Handicap (1400m), started to move up on the outside, while Glen Boss was riding for luck on super-consistent Dylan Thomas seven-year-old Tom Melbourne who was coming off three straight seconds.

Shinn had enjoyed a great run all the way on Happy Clapper and started to give chase once they rounded the bend.

Tom Melbourne, looking to finally get past the post first, was also slicing through.

At the 200m Happy Clapper ($2.40) took the lead and held off Tom Melbourne ($7.50) who had a five kilo advantage over the successful top weight.

Rounding out the Epsom Handicap trifecta in third was $21 outsider Snitzon from the Lindsay Park stables, the four-year-old Snitzel entire relishing the 50.5kg.

“He jumped brilliantly today probably the best he has ever jumped, put him right behind Red Excitement,” winning hoop Shinn said after the race.

“Speed was hot but he always travelled really well, we got there a little bit early for my liking, he was left there exposed as a sitting shot.

“He was primed for today, he’s the class horse and he did a great job. I’m just so happy for everyone involved. It’s their [Websters] first Group 1 and it obviously means a lot, not only to them but for me as well to do it for them.”

Happy Clapper has now won over $3 million in career prize money and could now head south to take on Winx again in the Group 1 $3 million Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 28.

Waller’s dual defending Cox Plate hero Winx is odds-on at $1.50 through race sponsor Ladbrokes.com.au in their pre-field markets on the weight-for-age classic, while Happy Clapper has firmed in $21 second favouritism.

To back Happy Clapper for a place behind Winx in the 2017 Ladbrokes Cox Plate head to Ladbrokes.com.au today.

2017 Epsom Handicap Results & Finishing Order

Randwick Race 7 – 30/09/2017

Place # Horse Trainer Jockey Margin Br. Wgt. SP
1 1 HAPPY CLAPPER Patrick Webster Blake Shinn 2 57kg $2.40F
2 9 TOM MELBOURNE (IRE) Chris Waller Glen Boss 0.5L 9 52kg $8
3 13 SNITZSON David & B Hayes & T Dabernig Cory Parish 3L 3 50.5kg $26
4 2 FOXPLAY Chris Waller Hugh Bowman 3.1L 10 54.5kg $8
5 3 SOUND PROPOSITION (NZ) Kris Lees Corey Brown 3.4L 7 54kg $12
6 11 COMIN’ THROUGH Chris Waller Joao Moreira 4.4L 8 51kg $5
7 6 MCCREERY (GB) Chris Waller Tommy Berry 4.9L 4 53kg $26
8 5 RED EXCITEMENT Gerald Ryan Brenton Avdulla 5.8L 1 53.5kg $18
9 12 SAVILE ROW (NZ) Michael Moroney Jay Ford 7.1L 5 51kg $31
10 8 ZANBAGH John P Thompson Damian Lane 7.9L 6 52.5kg (cd 53kg) $31
14 EMBLEY Bjorn Baker Andrew Adkins (a) 0
4 HE’S OUR ROKKII (NZ) David & B Hayes & T Dabernig Dwayne Dunn 0
7 I AM A STAR (NZ) Shane Nichols Dean Yendall 0
10 EGG TART Chris Waller Kerrin McEvoy 0

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