Trainer Pat Webster has been pleased with the benefit taken by Happy Clapper in his time away from racing but concedes his stable star faces a big task under weight-for-age conditions in Saturday’s Group 1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m).
Happy Clapper returned to racing in the recent Spring Carnival in exceptional form, and gained ballot-free entry into this year’s Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) on Day 1 of The Championships when delivering a quality field a comfortable defeat in the Group 2 Villiers Stakes (1600m) most recently on December 12th.
Happy Clapper has been charged with carrying a race-high 59kgs and overcoming the likes of Criterion, Kermadec, Our Boy Malachi and First Seal in the 2016 Canterbury Stakes but Webster is confident his horse is up to the mark.
“It will be a very tough race,” Webster told AAP.
“But I’m happy with him and I was happy with his trial.
“The plan is to run on Saturday and then go to the George Ryder where he’ll probably have to take on Winx but I want to see how he goes at weight-for-age.
“I think he will cope. And then after he’s carried 59 kilos in both those races he drops to 50-1/2 in the Doncaster.
“Light weights are what win handicaps at Randwick.”
Happy Clapper has been a strong and consistent performer for Webster since first appearing on course competitively in 2013; posting six wins and a further four minors through a light twelve start career.
Resuming in 2015 for three consecutive wins in Sydney minors races in autumn, the Teofilo gelding resumed in July for a luckless fifth in the Mick Kerr Memorial BM85 (1300m), but responded well in taking out each of the Road Tech Marine BM85 (1200m) and Bedford CA BM85 (1500m) leading into his Villiers Stakes triumph.
The 2016 Canterbury Stakes final field and barrier draw is due to be completed and released by midday, Wednesday.
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