Happy Clapper Wins Villiers Stakes
Trainers with smaller stables often have limited prospects, so when Happy Clapper took the Group 2 Villiers Stakes at Randwick, it was a victory for the little guy.
Trainer Pat Webster and his son Wayne prepared the horse nicely to make only his 12th start, where he jumped as favourite at $4.80. His jockey had him in great position, but traffic forced him inside at the top of the straight. The move gave Tinto an opportunity, but Happy Clapper held off the respectable mare Tinto that despite winning the Queensland Oaks in 2014, had little support from Randwick punters, who sent the mare off at $26.
Third place was occupied by $13 priced It’s Somewhat that carried the top weight in the ATC’s open handicap 1,600 metre race.
Happy Clapper has fought injuries throughout, but Webster still feels that the brown gelding is the best he has had to date, better even than Shy Hero, winner of the 2000 TJ Smith Stakes, which at that time, was a Group 3 race.
The Villiers victory punches the team’s ticket for the Doncaster Mile this coming autumn and at this point represents the race on which the Websters will base their preparation. Happy Clapper’s next race is the 2000 metre Summer Cup, also at Sydney’s Randwick.