Happy Clapper stamped himself as a genuine weight-for-age star with an impressive performance for second in the Doncaster Mile over the weekend and may back-up in Saturday’s 2016 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m), according to trainer Pat Webster.
Happy Clapper gained ballot-free entry into the Doncaster Mile with success in the Group 2 Villiers Stakes (1600m) in December, and his did chances no harm whatsoever on Saturday when jumping well and taking a positive position in transit close to the pace.
Rounding onto the final straight with a clear racing line, the Teofilo gelding immediately responded when asked for an extra effort by jockey Brenton Avdulla; attacking the line for second behind champion mare Winx.
Webster was understandably thrilled with Happy Clapper’s performance in the Doncaster Mile and told AAP he will allow the gelding’s condition to dictate whether he will progress to the feature race on Day 2 of The Championships this weekend.
“It’s not out of the question,” Webster said.
“His two runs at weight-for-age have been good and he could go to the Queen Elizabeth and not be out of place.”
Happy Clapper has been a strong and consistent performer through his entire racing career so far; posting a commendable five wins and six minors through only fifteen competitive starts since debuting in 2013.
Kept to a particularly light work load through his whole career, Happy Clapper returned in 2015 for success in the Vili’s Pies Plate (1250m) before repeating the dose in each of the Alan Montgomery BM75 (1400m) and Hyland Race Colours BM80 (1600m).
Resuming in late winter for a luckless fifth in the Mick Kerr Memorial BM85 (1300m), Happy Clapper won each of the Road Tech Marine BM85 (1200m) and Bedford CA BM85 (1500m) leading into his Villiers Stakes triumph.
The 2016 Queen Elizabeth Stakes field and barrier draw will be completed and released by midday, Tuesday.
Ladbrokes Australia is currently offering Happy Clapper at 2016 Queen Elizabeth Stakes odds of $17 for success.