Happy Clapper is currently available at 2015 Villiers Stakes odds of $4.80 and assistant trainer Wayne Webster is confident that the progressive galloper is good enough to win the Group 2 event at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
Happy Clapper returned to the races with a narrow victory over Ryker in the Road Tech Marine Handicap (1200m) at Royal Randwick on October 24 and he stamped himself as a leading Villiers Stakes contender with a win in the Bedford Handicap (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens on November 28.
Webster, the son of trainer Patrick Webster, told Sky Racing HQ that Happy Clapper has been specifically set for a crack at the Villiers Stakes and he is confident that the son of Teofilo has a feature race in him.
“I think that he is at his best,” Webster said.
“He is stepping up to the 1600 and we are fully confident that 1600 is going to be his pet distance.
“He has been very well-placed and Dad has programmed the horse from his very first start.
“He has put him in the races suitable and we could find out more about him.
“Whether it is Saturday or another day, I definitely believe that the horse has the ability to win a nice race.
“In saying that everybody that has ridden the horse thinks that he is going to be better over the 2000, which we haven’t a chance to get him there yet.”
Happy Clapper made his racing debut back in July of 2014 and he finished third in the Group 3 Spring Stakes (1600m) at Newcastle at just his fourth race start, but he suffered a serious injury that kept him away from racing for over a year.
Webster said that Happy Clapper was eventually able to recover from the issue, but he admitted that the horse always seems to find a new issue, which has restricted him to just 11 race starts.
“Earlier on he had a serious injury and they thought he wouldn’t race again,” Webster said.
“That is alright now and he has come through it, but there are just little things along the way that have happened.
“Even when he won first-up, he flipped over before he went to the races and he seems to pick up things along the way.
“They say it only happens to the good ones.”
Happy Clapper is currently available at 2015 Villiers Stakes odds of $4.80 with Ladbrokes and he is a clear favourite from Telepathic ($7), God’s In Him ($8.50), It’s Somewhat ($9), Frespanol ($10), Puccini ($13) and Zanbagh ($13).