An ageless Happy Clapper will be set for another Group 1 campaign during the 2019 Spring Carnival after pleasing trained Pat Webster at the Randwick barrier trials today.
The rising nine year old went around in a 900m trial for a hard held eighth, four and a half lengths from the winner Dawn Passage, under a strong restraint from champion jockey Hugh Bowman and Webster said his stable star is going as good as ever.
“I don’t look at it as if he is nine, I just look at how well the horse is, how he is going and age is not a thing,” Webster told Racenet.
“As a matter a fact I think he is better now than he was as a six-year-old so age is not a thing. It is how well you look after the age and he is very well looked after.
“He doesn’t get galloped a lot and does a lot of light work.
“He gives us a lot to look forward to.”
Webster said that Happy Clapper didn’t have to be tested in the trial and Bowman had to work overtime to keep the multiple Group 1 winner under double wraps.
“It was 10 out of 10 for us,” Webster said.
“The trial and the way he has pulled up has been great.
“It’s the best I have seen him back for a long, long time. He is well and we didn’t know when he was bleeding but got the legal treatment for him.
“It’s all good.”
Happy Clapper has raced forty-one times with a quarter of those runs against Winx, including five Group 1 placings behind the champion mare.
Happy Clapper has been a consistent Group 1 performer since the Autumn of 2016 and has been rewarded with three Group 1 winning trophies.
The 2017 $1m Epsom Handicap (1600m) at Randwick was the first of Happy Clapper’s three Group 1 wins and he added to that tally during the 2018 Sydney Autumn Carnival with two wins at Randwick in the Group 1 $500,000 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) and in the Group 1 $3m Doncaster Mile (1600m).
Happy Clapper was spelled after finishing fourth to Winx in the Group 1 $4m Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on Day Two of The Championships on April 13 and Webster is aiming high again during the 2019 Spring Carnival and will head Happy Clapper towards the Group 1 $500,000 Winx Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on August 24 and the Group 1 $500,000 Colgate Optic White Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on September 21.
“That’s his normal thing but the only thing is he usually runs second to (Winx),” Webster said.
“The last time in he ran second first-up and then second, second-up over the mile so that’s his go. 1400m first-up, second-up over the mile.”
Happy Clapper is the winner of eleven of his forty-one race starts and has amassed just over $6.8 million in prizemoney.