A capacity field of Stradbroke Handicap hopefuls...
Trainer Pat Webster admits that he is not happy for his stable star Happy Clapper to take on super mare Winx but the multiple Group 1 winner is still likely to line up against the World’s number one race horse in the Group 2 $250,000 Apollo Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on Saturday.
Fourteen horses have been nominated for the 2019 Apollo Stakes with trainer Chris Waller dominating with Winx and nine of her stablemates making up the bulk of the entries.
“I’m not happy to have to take on Winx, I’m never happy having to go up against her but ‘The Clapper’ does run well at Randwick and we have to start somewhere,’’ Webster told The Daily Telegraph.
“Winx is a champion, the best I’ve seen, and if he can run second or third to her we know we are on track.’’
Happy Clapper has faced off against Winx on eight previous occasions and has been placed in Group 1 company behind the mighty mare four times with three seconds in the 2016 $3m Doncaster Handicap (1600m), the 2017 $500,000 George Main Stakes (1600m) and in the 2018 $1m George Ryder Stakes (1500m) and a third in the 2018 $4m Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m).
Happy Clapper will be having his first run back since finishing fifth to Grunt in the Group 1 $750,000 PFD Food Services Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington last September while Winx will be stepping out for the first time since claiming her fourth straight Group 1 $5m Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) win at The Valley during the 2018 Melbourne Spring Carnival.
Winx will be chasing her thirtieth straight win when she kicks off her final race campaign in the Apollo Stakes with her last race day appearance scheduled to be in the Group 1 $4m Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on April 13, day two of The Championships.
Possible Apollo Stakes runners from the Waller stable to take on Winx are Group 1 winners Unforgotten, Egg Tart and Patrick Erin plus Endless Drama ,Noire, Brimham Rocks, Tom Melbourne, McCreery and Performer.
Betting at Ladbrokes.com.au for the Apollo Stakes has Winx at the unbackable odds of $1.10 while Happy Clapper is the closest rival in the betting at $11.
Early Betting for the 2019 Apollo Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au: $1.10 Winx, $11 Happy Clapper, $18 Le Romain, $21 Noire, Performer, $26 Unforgotten, $31 Endless Drama, $34 Aloisia, Tom Melbourne, $67 Egg Tart, Mask Of Time, McCreery, $151 Brimham Rocks, Patrick Erin.
Nominations for the 2019 Apollo Stakes (1400m)
|#||Last 10||Horse||Sex||Age||Trainer||Ballot||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|2||2x1213x75x||HAPPY CLAPPER||G||8||Patrick Webster||2||59kg||118|
|3||32x17242x2||LE ROMAIN||G||6||Kris Lees||3||59kg||115|
|5||0x314950x5||ENDLESS DRAMA (IRE)||H||7||Chris Waller||5=||59kg||107|
|6||521x53330x||EGG TART||M||5||Chris Waller||5=||57kg||107|
|7||14656x641x||PATRICK ERIN (NZ)||G||7||Chris Waller||7||59kg||106|
|8||768x83002x||ALOISIA (NZ)||M||4||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||8=||57kg||105|
|10||22x332222x||BRIMHAM ROCKS (GB)||G||5||Chris Waller||10||59kg||103|
|11||8x260408x1||TOM MELBOURNE (IRE)||G||8||Chris Waller||11||59kg||102|
|12||4730x7843x||MCCREERY (GB)||G||7||Chris Waller||12||59kg||101|
|13||479741240x||MASK OF TIME (IRE)||H||5||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||13||59kg||97|
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