Age is no barrier for veteran galloper Happy Clapper who will line up as one of the top chances in Saturday’s Group 1 $600,000 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m).

Happy Clapper, above, is in great shape for the 2020 Chipping Norton Stakes at Randwick. Photo by Steve Hart.

Happy Clapper, above, is in great shape for the 2020 Chipping Norton Stakes at Randwick. Photo by Steve Hart.

Trainer Pat Webster said that Happy Clapper is feeling the best he ever has and the nine year old has come through his first up third in the Group 2 $250,000 Aquis Apollo Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on February 15 in great style.

“I couldn’t be happier with him. I think this is the best he has even been,” Webster told Sky Racing.

“He pulled up great and we are very happy where we are with him.”

Webster said the Happy Clapper has done that well after his third in the Apollo Stakes that he did a little bit extra work on the track on Tuesday morning.

“He is a big eater and he gets a good feed. I had a look at him in the afternoon and thought I better do a little bit with him in the morning,” Webster said.

“It was great work and very happy with the way he pulled up.”

Happy Clapper finished second to Winx in last year’s Chipping Norton Stakes and Webster is expecting a first class performance from the evergreen veteran this year and has penciled in the Group 1 $700,000 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill on March 21 as his next assignment.

“We probably have a leaning towards the Ranvet which is 2000m, then we might dodge the four and five year olds, so that 2000m might be what we are looking at and is one of the reasons we ran him over 2000m before he went out,” Webster said.

“After the Chipping Norton he will have a trial and then onto the 2000m, which will really suit him.”

Happy Clapper will have no trouble stepping back up to the 2000m of the Ranvet Stakes with three Group 1 placings over that distance on his record as well a win over that trip in the Group 3 $500,000 Craven Plate at Randwick during the 2019 Sydney Spring Carnival.

Eighteen horses have been nominated for the Chipping Norton Stakes with Happy Clapper marked at $12 with Ladbrokes.com.au in early betting.

The Group 1 winning Kiwi galloper Te Akau Shark heads the betting at $2.50 in front of the James Cummings trained Avilius at $5 and Dreamforce and Fierce Impact at $6.

Early betting for the 2020 Chipping Norton Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au: $2.50 Te Akau Shark, $5 Avilius, $6 Dreamforce, Fierce Impact, $8 Danceteria, $12 Happy Clapper, $14 Verry Elleegant, $17 Homesman, $18 Imaging, $19 Danzdanzdance, $21 Djukon, $31 Ringerdingding, $34 Night’s Watch, $41 Life Less Ordinary, $81 Angel Of Truth, Carif, Come Play With Me, $101 Hallelujah Boy.

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.