Trainer Pat Webster has confirmed that stable star Happy Clapper is likely to back-up and take his place in Saturday’s 2017 Queen Elizabeth Stakes field, following another gallant effort to finish second in the Doncaster Mile over the weekend.
Happy Clapper returned to the races this season for a close second in the Listed National Sprint (1400m) on March 5th, before returning to winning form in the Group 3 Newcastle Newmarket Handicap (1400m), in what was his only other start prior to his impressive run for second behind It’s Somewhat in last weekend’s Doncaster Mile.
Revealing that the son of Teofilo will likely be given one more opportunity to win the Doncaster Mile next year, Webster told The Daily Telegraph that the horse will progress to the Queen Elizabeth Stakes on Saturday, providing he continues to come through the run well.
“It’s bittersweet and so much goes into it,” he said. “It’s probably my last chance (to win a Doncaster) and he’s only six and he will probably have a go at it next year but the handicapper will probably have another go at him too.
“That’s what stops you, weight.
“He is showing signs of his run which is to be expected and it was a hard run and it will all depend how he does today and tomorrow.
“But with him running such a great race (in the Queen Elizabeth) last year when he was probably on the worst part of the track and got held up at the half-mile, I can’t see any reason not to back him up.”
After running second to Winx in last year’s edition of the Doncaster Mile, Happy Clapper progressed to an impressive third behind Lucia Valentina and The United States in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes and was perhaps unlucky not to finish second.
“We wouldn’t be backing him up if he didn’t prove last year he could run a good race backing up,” Webster said.
“No doubt the blinkers have made a huge difference and he is jumping out now and his mind is right on the job.
“Without the blinkers (in the Doncaster) he would have been eighth, ninth or 10th and been under pressure on the turn but with them on he just travels.”
Happy Clapper has posted seven race wins and a further eight minors through a total of twenty-four career starts.
The 2017 Queen Elizabeth Stakes field and barrier draw is due to be completed and released by midday, Tuesday (April 4th).
Happy Clapper is currently available at 2017 Queen Elizabeth Stakes odds of $26 at Ladbrokes.com.au.