Evergreen miler Happy Clapper provided trainer Pat Webster with his first Group 1 win with a clear victory in the $1m Epsom Handicap (1600m) at Randwick today.
Happy Clapper was lumped with the steadier of 57kg but was still sent out as the $2.40 favourite following his last start second to champion mare Winx in the Group 1 $500,000 Colgate Optic White Stakes (George Main Stakes) (1600m) at Randwick two weeks ago.
Winning jockey Blake Shinn had Happy Clapper ($2.40 favourite) in the firing line from the start and stalked the leaders Red Excitement and Saville Row to the home turn.
Shinn had Happy Clapper full of running in the straight and the seven year old was able to hold off the Chris Waller trained Tom Melbourne ($8) who found the runner’s up stall for the fourth time from his last four starts.
The Lindsay Park trained Snitzson ($26) ran on from back in the field to finish third.
Webster said that he had been training for fifty years and it was a great thrill to finally get a Group 1 winner.
“I thought he rode him too good and then I saw Tom Sydney (Tom Melbourne) coming but then I thought that it is Tom Sydney,” Webster said.
“This is my first one (Group 1 win). I have had sixteen Group twos and threes. I have been training fifty years this year.”
“It is all good. I just can’t believe it.”
The Chris Waller trained Foxplay ($8) ran on from the back of the field to finish fourth while her well fancied stablemate Comin’ Through ($5) couldn’t sustain a long wide run and wound up in sixth position.