Jockey Blake Shinn was glowing in his summation of Happy Clapper’s brave second to Winx in last Saturday Group 1 $500,000 Colgate Optic White Stakes (George Main Stakes) (1600m) at Randwick.
Shinn gave Happy Clapper the perfect run midfield and let the Pat Webster trained seven year old stride up to the leaders at the top of the Randwick rise but no sooner had he reached the front when Winx appeared at his outside under the urgings of Hugh Bowman and put paid to him quickly to go on and record her twentieth straight win.
“Gallant effort, he travelled really well, I think he knew Winx was in that race today, he gave something a bit extra than he has done before,” Shinn said of Happy Clapper’s performance.
“At the half mile I felt like the winner, the 400m he felt the winner. It’s very humbling to run second to her. She’s the people’s champ. Full credit to my horse and Pat Webster, he was very brave today”
Happy Clapper finished fourth to Hauraki in last year’s Group 1 $1m Epsom (1600m) at Randwick and is now the $5 favourite at Ladbrokes.com.au for the $1m Handicap over the famous Randwick mile on September 30.
The George Main Stakes was Happy Clapper’s second run for the 2017 Spring Carnival and followed a first up win in the Group 2 $200,000 Tattersalls Club Tramway Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on September 2.
Winx’s stablemates fill the next four spots in Epsom Handicap betting with Egg Tart at $5.50, Comin’ Through at $10, Tom Melbourne at $12 and Foxplay at $13.
Egg Tart proved to be one of the best staying fillies during the Autumn and Winter Carnivals with wins in the Group 1 $400,000 Schweppes Oaks (registered as Australasian Oaks) (2000m) at Morphettville and in the Group 1 $500,000 Treasury Brisbane Queensland Oaks (2200m) at Doomben.
Early betting for the 2017 Epsom Handicap at Ladbrokes.com.au: $5 Happy Clapper, $5.50 Egg Tart, $10 Comin’ Trough, $12 Tom Melbourne, $13 Foxplay, $17 Black Heart Bart, Deploy, He’s Our Rokkii, Inference, Invincible Gem, Le Romain, Mackintosh, McCreery, Spectroscope, Vega Magic, $21 Dawn Wall, Humidor, Omei Sword, Redkirk Warrior, Tosen Stardom, $26 or better the rest.