Webster Happy with Clapper ahead of return

SYDNEY Sep 1 2016

Happy Clapper has proved he can compete with the best, giving his trainer confidence it won't be long before he is hailed a Group One winner.

If not for Winx, Happy Clapper would have the Doncaster Mile trophy and Pat Webster is aiming him at Randwick's other famous 1600m-race, the Epsom Handicap.

He takes the first step in Saturday's Tramway Stakes as the favourite based on his autumn performances which also include a third in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes behind Lucia Valentina.

"We know he is a Group One horse after the autumn," Webster said.

"The Epsom Handicap is his goal and he is entered for the Cox Plate.

"We live in hope. We live to dream.

"But I can't wait to get Saturday out of the road first."

Webster's main concern is the heavy rain predicted in Sydney on Friday.

"The Tramway is race eight so by that time of the day the track could be chopped up," he said.

"It's not ideal and he's vulnerable first-up. He gets through soft tracks but has only had one start on a heavy.

"I guess my instructions to Brenton Avdulla will be to come as wide as you can.

"But the last time I told him that, he came up the inside and won the Villiers.

"Brenton knows him well enough so he'll know what to do after riding earlier in the day."

Webster trains Happy Clapper for Michael Thomas who also raced multiple winner Thankgodyou'rehere, second in the 2011 Group One Galaxy.

Later that year, Thankgodyou'rehere finished third in the Tramway before winning the Bill Ritchie then failing in the Epsom.

Happy Clapper's program will be the same and Webster is confident the gelding will only get better as the distances get longer.

"I learned early on from Bart and TJ Smith you need a 2000 metre horse to win over the Randwick mile," he said.

"From what I see, Happy Clapper is a 2000 metre horse and he showed how good he is in the Doncaster."



Caryl Williamson - AAP

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