Kerrin McEvoy has put his hands up for the ride on Happy Clapper when the Doncaster Mile winner clashes with super mare Winx in the Group 1 $4m Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) on day two of The Championships at Randwick on Saturday.
Blake Shinn rode Happy Clapper to victory in last Saturday’s Group 1 $3m The Star Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Randwick and trainer Pat Webster was expecting the talented hoop to stick with the seven year old this weekend, but Shinn had already been booked to ride the Darren Weir trained Humidor in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes so Webster was quick to snap up the services of the very experienced McEvoy.
“When he (Shinn’s agent) said Blake would be riding Humidor I got straight on the phone to Bryan Haskins and booked Kerrin McEvoy,” Webster told The Australian.
“It’s disappointing that Blake’s not on him, given his association with the Clapper.
“He’s friends with one of the owners of Humidor and thinks he may be a better 2000m ride.
“We only booked him for the George Ryder and the Doncaster. We had to work really hard to get him to commit to them.
“McEvoy’s a great rider so we won’t miss much.”
Happy Clapper has clashed with Winx on seven occasions with their last meeting resulting in a second to the Chris Waller trained mare two starts back in the Group 1 $1m The Agency George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill.
Shinn has had the majority of the rides on Happy Clapper for the last twelve months and the pair have combined for three Group 1 wins and added last Saturday’s Doncaster Mile win to their victories in the Group 1 $1m Epsom Handicap (1600m) at Randwick during the 2017 Sydney Spring Carnival and their first up win in the Group 1 $500,000 Bisley Workwear Canterbury Stakes (1300m) at Randwick this preparation.
Webster said that Happy Clapper had pulled up well after his dominant win in the Doncaster Mile and is keen to back him up this weekend against Winx in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes if he is given the all clear by his stable vet.
“He’ll probably run in the Queen Elizabeth,” Webster said.
“$750,000 for running second, so we’ll go there again.”
“We’ll get the vet to trot him up before acceptances on Tuesday and if he’s happy with him, he’s treated him all the way through with all his injuries, then he’ll run.
“But if there’s any little doubt then we’ll just turf him straight out and wait for another prep but as of today he’s good.
“She’s a great mare but the minor prizemoney is good too so we’re looking forward to it.”
Humidor will also be backing up this weekend after finishing eighth behind Happy Clapper in the Doncaster Mile.
Bookies at Ladbrokes.com.au have Winx as the very short priced $1.18 favourite for the Queen Elizabeth Stakes with Happy Clapper the second pick at $9 while Victoria’s leading trainer Darren Weir provides the next two in the betting with Humidor at $11 and Gailo Chop at $12.
The final field for the 2018 Queen Elizabeth Stakes will be released on Tuesday April 10.
Early betting for the 2018 Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au: $1.18 Winx, $9 Happy Clapper, $11 Humidor, $12 Gailo Chop, $26 Ace High, Aloisia, Ambitious, Comin’ Through, D’Argento, $34 Success Days, $51 Admire Winner, Mission Hill, Satono Rasen, Single Gaze, Tom Melbourne, Tosen Stardom, $61 or better the rest.