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Damien Oliver will ride long shot Happy Clapper when the Epsom Handicap winner takes on super star Winx in the Group 1 $3m Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) at The Valley on October 28.

Damien Oliver will ride Happy Clapper, above, in the 2017 Ladbrokes Cox Plate at The Valley. Photo by Steve Hart.

Damien Oliver will ride Happy Clapper, above, in the 2017 Ladbrokes Cox Plate at The Valley. Photo by Steve Hart.

The Pat Webster trained Happy Clapper is coming off a last start second to all the way winner Classic Uniform in the Group 3 $500,000 Aqualand Craven Plate (2000m) at Randwick last Saturday with Blake Shinn in the saddle.

Shinn was also aboard the Teofilo seven year old the start before when he claimed the winning trophy for the Group 1 $1m Epsom Handicap (1600m) at Randwick on September 30.

In early betting for the Ladbrokes Cox Plate at Ladbrokes.com.au, Happy Clapper is at the long odds of $34 while Winx is regarded as unbeatable at $1.20.

The Chris Waller trained Winx has strung together twenty-one consecutive wins, her last two at Group 1 level in the $500,000 Colgate Optic White Stakes (George Main Stakes) (1600m) at Randwick on September 16 and in the $500,000 Seppelt Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on October 7.

Waller has reported that Winx has pulled up well following her Turnbull Stakes win and completed a gallop at The Valley earlier in the week in fine style.

“We just asked her to do her normal maintenance gallop,” Waller said.

“It is three weeks in between runs and she is very fit. She had a quiet gallop at Flemington on Saturday and slightly strong work this morning (Tuesday) over 1200m steadily building to have a quicker last 400m.”

“That is pretty typical work for her just to keep her going through the paces ahead of the big Ladbrokes Cox Plate.”

Winx will be attempting to win her third Ladbrokes Cox Plate in succession after dominant wins in ‘The Weight For Age Championship’ in the last two years.”

Early market order for the 2017 Ladbrokes Cox Plate at Ladbrokes.com.au: $1.20 Winx, $17 Royal Symphony, $21 Gailo Chop, $26 Folkswood, $34 Aloisia, Happy Clapper, Hartnell, Humidor, Johannes Vermeer, $41 Bonneval, Catchy, $51 or better the rest.

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.

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