Winx v Clapper for old times’ sake
TRAINER Pat Webster wants Happy Clapper to clash with mighty mare Winx one last time even though he concedes his stable star is racing for second.
Happy Clapper will go straight to Winx's farewell race, the $4 million Longines Doncaster Mile at Royal Randwick on April 13, without another run, Webster said.
This means Happy Clapper is unlikely to contest the $3 million Doncaster Mile (1600m) run at the same track a week earlier.
"I'll trial 'The Clapper' on Friday and then run him in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes against Winx,'' Webster said.
"I thought it was funny watching Winx race last week (George Ryder Stakes) and Happy Clapper wasn't running second to her. I'd like to give him the chance to run against Winx in her last race.''
Happy Clapper has finished behind Winx in their 10 previous clashes, including five second placings.
"I know we are not going to beat Winx but I'd be proud if we ran second to her again,'' Webster said.
Happy Clapper is topweight with 59kg for the Doncaster Mile, 2kg more than he carried to win the race last year.
Although Happy Clapper is renowned as one of the best-ever Randwick "milers", Webster is reluctant to ask his rising nine-year-old to run in a handicap with such an impost.
"If you could guarantee me The Clapper draws inside five in the Doncaster, I would run him,'' the trainer said.
If Happy Clapper doesn't contest the Doncaster Mile, Godolphin's Hartnell is expected to carry the No. 1 saddlecloth with 58kg.