Happy Clapper managed to beat the handicapper in the Doncaster Mile only to have his trainer’s best-thought out plan thwarted by Winx.
But Pat Webster is so pleased by Happy Clapper’s second to Australia’s latest champion, he is harbouring thoughts of backing him up in Saturday’s $4 million Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m).
“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.”
Webster would prefer if Winx did not go there with trainer Chris Waller to leave a decision as late as possible.
Happy Clapper gained an automatic entry to the $3 million Doncaster via his win in the Villiers Stakes in December.
Webster gave him two starts to lead into the Doncaster, hand-picking the Group One Canterbury Stakes (1300m) and Group One George Ryder (1500m).
Because both races were weight-for-age, Happy Clapper could not be re-handicapped from his 50.5kg in the Doncaster if he happened to win.
He finished fourth in the Canterbury Stakes won by Holler and fifth in the George Ryder won by Winx.
After the George Ryder, Waller declared Winx would run in the Doncaster to the surprise of many and the dismay of Webster.
Her win was one for the ages with Hugh Bowman stuck back in the field with seemingly nowhere to go until the final 200 metres.
Once in the clear, Winx lifted to beat Happy Clapper by two lengths.
At $1.80 she was the shortest-priced favourite to win since Valicare in 1926.
Winx is even shorter for the Queen Elizabeth at $1.50 while Happy Clapper is a $15 chance.
Winx’s stablemate, last-start BMW winner Preferment is the $8 second-elect alongside Ranvet winner The United States who was not an original entry.
Nick Williams has indicated he and his father Lloyd will pay the late entry fee for the Queen Elizabeth.
Article from JustHorseRacing.com.au