Pat Webster has revealed that the Group 2 Tramway Stakes (1400m) at Royal Randwick on September 2nd is shaping as the likely first-up target for stable star Happy Clapper this season.
Happy Clapper has been a strong and consistent performer for Webster since making his debut in the winter of 2013, but has only continued to improve through his recent racing seasons and produced several outstanding performances and results through the recent Autumn Carnival, highlighted by his close second behind It’s Somewhat in the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m).
Having initially underlined the Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield, also on September 2nd as a possible starting point for the Teofilo gelding, Webster told Racing Victoria that the horse’s first-up target is all about doing what is right for the horse, with a view towards his major campaign targets.
“We’ve still got a couple of days to decide exactly what we want and whether we travel to Melbourne for the Memsie but Sydney is looking likely,” Webster said.
“We’ve got to weigh up what is the best option, taking in to account travel and what is ahead for the rest of the preparation.
“I was very happy with his trial again this morning, hopefully he comes through it in good shape and we could be in for a good preparation.”
Second behind Winx in the 2016 edition of the Doncaster Mile before finishing that preparation third in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m), Happy Clapper resumed last spring for fifth behind Hauraki in the Tramway Stakes.
Progressing to sixth in the Group 3 Bill Ritchie Handicap (1400m), the gelding out of Busking flew home to place fourth in the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) and was gallant to the line when sixth in the Group 1 Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m).
Having clearly had enough by the time he placed ninth in the Group 1 Emirates Stakes (2000m) on November 5th, Happy Clapper resumed this year for second behind Gold Symphony in the Listed National Sprint (1400m), before winning the Group 3 Newcastle Newmarket (1400m) by more than three lengths in his only other start prior to the Doncaster Mile.
Happy Clapper is currently available at 2017 Ladbrokes Cox Plate odds of $67 with online bookie Ladbrokes.com.au.