Trainer Pat Webster has revealed that he hopes to saddle stable star Happy Clapper in his major target, the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m), third-up following a couple of form finding runs amongst black type company.
Happy Clapper has been a strong and consistent performer for Webster throughout his entire racing career so far, but has undoubtedly reached a new level of class throughout the last twelve months of campaigning.
Stable foreman for his father, Wayne Wilson told Bloodstock.com.au that the Teofilo gelding has taken well to his time in the paddock and the team is hoping to have the horse ready for a return in the Group 2 Tramway Stakes (1400m) first-up.
“He’s a lot bigger, a lot stronger and I think he’s more seasoned now,” Webster said.
“He’s 45 kilos heavier and that’s probably the best he’s spelled.
“It’s a long way to go but all going well the Epsom will be our mission.
“Depending on how he pulls up or how he’s going, we’ll trial him again but we won’t decide that until then.
“He’ll go to the Tramway (Stakes) first up, the Bill Ritchie (Handicap) and hopefully all going well, we’ll go to the Epsom third-up.”
Happy Clapper has posted six wins and as many minors through his sixteen career starts, since first appearing on course competitively during the winter of 2013.
Resuming in October for success in the Road Tech Marine BM85 (1200m) at Randwick, Happy Clapper repeated the dose in the Bedford CA BM85 (1500m) before securing ballot-free entry into the Doncaster Mile with a dominant performance for success in the Group 2 Villiers Stakes (1600m) on December 12th.
Trialling well in the lead-up to his return this year, Happy Clapper finished fourth in the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) first-up before placing fifth in the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) on March 19th.
Producing arguably his most impressive performance to date when second behind Winx in the Doncaster Mile on Day 1 of The Championships, the gelding out of Busking returned to the paddock following a gutsy run for third in the major Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) on April 9th.
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