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Trainer Pat Webster has already conceded defeat at the hands of the world’s best mare Winx for his rising eight-year-old Happy Clapper who shapes-up as one of the key rivals for the dual defending champion in Saturday’s 2018 George Ryder Stakes on Golden Slipper Day.
Winx is the horse to beat in the Group 1 $1 million George Ryder Stakes (1500m) this weekend at Rosehill Gardens, Chris Waller’s incredible six-year-old looking to make history with a world record 17th Group 1 flat race success.
Already odds-on in George Ryder Stakes betting at Ladbrokes.com.au after her seven length romp home first-up in the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m), Winx will face a line-up of brave rivals that will be looking to fill the minor placings.
Among the standouts is Teofilo seven-year-old Happy Clapper who ran the ideal lead-up resuming at Randwick on March 10 with a win in the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m).
He now chases the Canterbury Stakes – George Ryder Stakes double last achieved by Pierro (2013) but looks very unlikely to do so with the inclusion of Winx in the mix.
Happy Clapper has gone six previous rounds with Winx, the latest seeing him run sixth as she joined Kingston Town (1980-83) with three straight wins in the Group 1 Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m).
His best results against the nearly $16 million earning daughter of Street Cry were seconds in last September’s Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m) at Randwick and the Doncaster Mile in April of 2016.
“He has ran second to her [Winx] twice before and will probably run second again,” Webster told The Sydney Morning Herald.
“He has really gone on since the Canterbury Stakes but she is in a different league.
“She breaks them because she completely takes horses out of their comfort zone.
“They almost try too hard to go with her and beat her and that’s it.
“Old Clapper – he does that every time he goes around. But when he has taken her on, it is like he has been 15 rounds with Ali.
“You have to pick him back up and let him recover because it is a different level of racing.”
A genuine miler, Happy Clapper also finished runner-up in last year’s Doncaster Mile results behind It’s Somewhat (2017).
The Group $3 million Doncaster Mile (1600m) on April 7 is again the major autumn aim for Happy Clapper who pays $8.50 in futures markets on ‘The Championships’ classic.
Favourite in pre-field Doncaster Mile odds online is the gun three-year-old Lonhro colt Kementari ($4.40) who is also being considered for a run against Winx in the George Ryder Stakes field on Saturday.
Blake Shinn will continue his association with Happy Clapper in the George Ryder Stakes, while Brenton Avdulla will partner Godolphin’s last start Randwick Guineas winner Kementari should he run.
Back Winx to win the George Ryder Stakes 2018 at the right price through Ladbrokes.com.au who also have the best futures Doncaster Mile betting markets open this autumn.
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