Pat Webster with Happy Clapper. Photo: Craig Wilson
Pat Webster with Happy Clapper. Photo: Craig Wilson

Happy days: Clapper secures All-Star wildcard

PAT Webster said he was proud to be Happy Clapper's trainer after the star galloper was named the first runner in The All-Star Mile field.

The gelding was handed a wildcard entry - the first of four - for the $5 million race at Flemington on March 16.

The top 10 nominees to take their place in the field, determined by public vote, were announced by Racing Victoria on Thursday morning.

"He's the first one in into this great new race so I'm proud for him but I'm so proud to be his trainer," Webster said.

 

"I'm so lucky he arrived on my doorstep and this is another feather in his cap.

"It's another piece of recognition, It's a compliment to him. I've got to say I'm very excited."

Happy Clapper has an excellent record over a mile and will be among the favourites for the $5m race at Flemington on March 16. Picture: Getty Images
Happy Clapper has an excellent record over a mile and will be among the favourites for the $5m race at Flemington on March 16. Picture: Getty Images

Happy Clapper will be ridden by Blake Shinn in The All-Star Mile.

Webster said The All-Star Mile was the race he had set Happy Clapper for but he was concerned that he wouldn't get in.

"I don't know too much about social media and getting campaigns going. Chris Munce and the Urban Ruler team were smart about it. The best I could do was to get a couple of old pensioners I know to vote for him and that wasn't going to get him too far.

"Also it might have been a bit of the old Sydney-Melbourne thing."

Racing Victoria will name the following three wildcards in coming weeks.

Happy Clapper ensured he would be in contention for a wildcard when he finished second to Winx last Saturday in the Apollo Stakes

"All I wanted to do last week was to prove he was back from his bleeding attack."

It was the fourth time he had finished second to her and he will again take her on when he has his final lead-up run in the Chipping Norton Stakes

"I devised his campaign so he would run over 1400m then have a run over 1600m before the All-Star Mile so we have to go up against Winx."

Webster said that this would be the first time he had targeted a race in Melbourne where he hadn't tackled a race such as the Doncaster or the Epsom which were his main missions.

Happy Clapper has won $6,245600 in stakemoney and has proven himself one of Australia's best milers with a win in last year's Doncaster Mile after he had finished second in that race the previous two years.

He also won the 2017 Epsom Handicap and finished second to Tosen Stardom in the Mackinnon Stakes that year.

News Corp Australia


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