Villiers Stakes 2015: Avdulla chooses Happy Clapper over Red Excitement

Jockeys can get it wrong when given a choice of rides in a feature race.

But so far circumstances are falling into place for Brenton Avdulla after he opted to ride Happy Clapper over Red Excitement in the Villiers Stakes.

Happy Clapper has firmed into $4.80 favouritism since drawing barrier six while several other fancies came up with wide gates.

They include Red Excitement who jumps from the outside alley in the 20-horse field.

Avdulla has a long association with Red Excitement and has ridden the horse in 11 of its 19 starts for Gerald Ryan, including its past six runs.

His partnership with Happy Clapper is more recent but a significant weight drop and the horse’s untapped potential swayed Avdulla’s Villiers Stakes thinking.

“He’s an up-and-coming horse and he’s on the minimum,” Avdulla said.

“He drops from 60-and-a-half kilograms last start to 53 on Saturday, he’s two from two this preparation and I just think he’ll be very hard to beat.”

Kerrin McEvoy has picked up the mount on $15 chance Red Excitement who came from worse than midfield for fifth in the Festival Stakes at his final lead-up run.

McEvoy is chasing his first win in the Villiers, a race Avdulla won as an apprentice five years ago aboard Dances On Waves.

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