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Pat Webster’s always-honest Group 1 performer Happy Clapper features among the early Canterbury Stakes 2018 nominations to make his return to racing at Randwick Racecourse on Saturday.
A dozen weight-for-age hopefuls make up the original entries for this year’s Group 1 $500,000 Canterbury Stakes (1300m), which have been extended by Racing NSW until 11am (AEDT) on Tuesday morning.
Of the current nominees the veterans are the Robbie Laing-trained Lord Of The Sky and fellow seven-year-old Happy Clapper.
A winner of over $3.5 million in career prize money, Teofilo gelding Happy Clapper hasn’t raced since the Melbourne Cup Carnival last November when runner-up to Tosen Stardom at Flemington in the Group 1 Emirates Stakes (2000m).
Chasing his first victory since the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) at Randwick last September, Happy Clapper has trialled twice since including an eye-catching second over 1050m behind Houtzen at the Randwick track in late February.
A noted first-up performer (9:3-2-1), Happy Clapper also has excellent form at Royal Randwick (16:5-4-1) and presents as a livewire chance fresh if accepted into the Canterbury Stakes field.
The Canterbury Stakes results over the past decade have been dominated by the mares with four saluting since 2011.
There are three mares nominated for the race this season along with the Lindsay Park-trained filly Tulip who would be the first since Emancipation (1983) to take out the race.
Since then a number of other three-year-olds have gotten the job done, most recently the John O’Shea-trained colt Holler (2016).
Tulip ran a lovely lead-up on February 23 at Moonee Valley winning the Group 3 Typhoon Tracy Stakes (1200m), but hasn’t raced in Sydney since her brave fifth to Redzel in the $10 million The Everest (1200m).
The David Hayes-led Lindsay Park stable dominate the Canterbury Stakes nominations numbers-wise this Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival with four entries that also include four-year-old Snitzel entire Thronum.
Thronum has had two runs this preparation in Melbourne for a win in the Group 2 Australia Stakes (1200m) at The Valley and his brave fourth when only a quarter-length off the winner Hartnell in the Group 1 CF Orr Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on February 10.
As for the mares in the mix, all are class contenders including the early $5.50 favourite in pre-field Canterbury Stakes betting at Ladbrokes.com.au Global Glamour.
Prepared by Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott, the two-time Group 1 winning daughter of Star Witness has had three runs this year improving each time out.
Her latest was at Randwick on February 17 when only a neck away second in the Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m).
Co-trainer Waterhouse boasts a record seven Canterbury Stakes wins, her latest being with another four-year-old mare Cosmic Endeavour in 2015.
The other mares entered for the event are the returning Kris Lees-trained Invincible Gem who is a genuine Randwick specialist (4:2-1-1) that ran second in the Randwick Guineas on this day 12 months ago and Foxplay for Chris Waller.
Foxwedge grey Foxplay is a Group 1 winner at the track from last autumn, but she hasn’t won since taking on the Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m) here that April.
She’s been competitive in plenty since however including the smart first-up third when a quarter-length off Daysee Doom at Rosehill on February 24 in the Group 2 Millie Fox Stakes (1300m).
Waller has also entered the race’s only other last start winner alongside Tulip, Apollo Stakes champion Endless Drama looking to do the double completed by Appearance in 2014.
See below for the current Canterbury Stakes 2018 nominations, early betting now open at Ladbrokes.com.au.
2018 Canterbury Stakes Nominations
Royal Randwick – 10/03/2018
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Sex||Age||Trainer||Hcp. Rating|
|1||9113x385x6||CLEARLY INNOCENT||G||6||Kris Lees||111|
|2||81368x008x||DERRYN||H||4||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||102|
|3||5x0x360x31||ENDLESS DRAMA (IRE)||H||6||Chris Waller||107|
|5||302x19x642||GLOBAL GLAMOUR||M||4||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||107|
|6||25x121262x||HAPPY CLAPPER||G||7||Patrick Webster||114|
|7||541112x13x||INVINCIBLE GEM||M||4||Kris Lees||108|
|8||15x66x1650||LORD OF THE SKY||H||7||Robbie Laing||106|
|9||2x21510x23||SHOWTIME||C||3||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||100|
|10||x22833005x||SO SI BON||H||4||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||94|
|11||1306x13x14||THRONUM||H||4||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||104|
|12||35x2450x41||TULIP||F||3||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||90|
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