Trainer Pat Webster’s stable star Happy Clapper has been cleared to clash with glamour mare Winx in the 2019 Group 1 $4m Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on Day Two of the Championships on April 13.
Happy Clapper pulled up with a minor issue after finishing an out of character eighth to Mystic Journey in the $5m All-Star Mile (1600m) at Flemington on March 16 but a barrier trial win over 1200m at Randwick today has put ‘The Clapper’ back on track to join Winx’s farewell salute in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
“He needed time to get over the Melbourne incident because you don’t have a grade 3 and get straight over it,” Webster told Racing New South Wales News Desk.
“Blake (Shinn) was happy with him and all going well he’ll run in the Queen Elizabeth.’’
“The good thing about the trial is it keeps the fitness there.’’
“He gets time now to get over the trial then starts doing some pacework next Thursday and Saturday, and has a good hit out the Tuesday before the Queen Elizabeth.’’
Happy Clapper has been runner up to the Chris Waller trained Winx on five previous occasions and Webster can’t see the eight year old changing the finishing positions in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes which has been earmarked as Winx’s last race track appearance.
“I know we are not going to beat Winx but I’d be proud if we ran second to her again,’’ Webster told The Daily Telegraph.
Happy Clapper kicked off his Autumn Carnival campaign with a second to Winx in the Group 2 $250,000 The Star Apollo Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on February 16 and then was runner up to the mighty mare again in the Group 1 $600,000 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on March 2 prior to running in the All-Star Mile.
Winx dominates the betting at Ladbrokes.com.au for the Queen Elizabeth Stakes at $1.10 ahead of Ranvet Stakes winner Avilius at $11 and Happy Clapper at $15.
Early betting for the 2019 Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au: $1.10 Winx, $11 Avilius, $15 Happy Clapper, $21 He’s Eminent, $26 Hartnell, $34 Danzdanzdance, $51 Ace High, Alizee, Aloisia, Fifty Stars, I Am Serious, Kaonic, Land Of Plenty, Madison County, Night’s Watch, Noble Mars, On The Rocks, Rekindling, Ringerdingding, Shillelagh, The Taj Mahal, Unforgotten, $67 or better the rest.