2018

Comin' Through Wins Gr1 Doomben Cup

Monday, 21st May 2018

At Doomben racecourse in Brisbane, Coolmore's former Gr1-winning Champion Australian Sire Fastnet Rock (Danehill-Piccadilly Circus, by Royal Academy) celebrated an elite race success when 4YO Australian-bred gelding Comin' Through (Fastnet Rock-Mica's Pride, by Bite the Bullet) finally delivered on the promise he has always shown when scoring a strong win in the $650,000 weight-for-age Gr1 Doomben Cup (2000m) for 3YO+, defeating stable-mate Egg Tart & Japanese import Ambitious. The well-related  Comin' Through improved his record to 6 wins (including the Gr2 Ajax Stakes, Gr3 Bill Ritchie Handicap & Gr3 Carbine Club Stakes) and 5 placings (including the Gr1 Doncaster Mile & Gr1 Randwick Guineas) from 17 starts for $1,675,171 in earnings. Trainer Chris Waller said Comin' Through had been threatening to break through at the top level for quite some time. "He's had a few Group 2 and Group 3 wins and ran second in the Group 1 Doncaster behind Happy Clapper so he's deserved to win a Group 1," Waller told Racing Queensland Webnews. "He was a bit unlucky in the Hollindale when he was pushed three deep and still did a great job to run sixth. I think he's only going to get better..." Retained to race by his breeder Sir Owen Glenn, Comin' Through is the ninth foal to race from the prolific producer Mica's Pride, dam also of multiple Gr1 winning stallion Criterion, Gr2 winner Varenna Miss and Listed winner Silently.

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Happy Clapper Nears Return

Thursday, 10th May 2018

Multiple Group 1-winning galloper Happy Clapper (Teofilo-Busking, by Encosta de Lago) is set to return to the stable of Pat Webster in a few weeks time to begin preparations for his Spring campaign, reports racenet. The 7YO is enjoying a break following a stellar autumn campaign in which he claimed two Group 1 victories in the Canterbury Stakes & Doncaster Handicap, as well as Group 1 placings in the George Ryder Stakes and Queen Elizabeth Stakes - both behind superstar mare Winx. Webster said owner Michael Thomas would sit down soon and map out a Spring programme for Happy Clapper which could take in races such as The Everest and Group 1 Winx Stakes (formerly known as the Warwick Stakes). "At the end of the day we've got about four weeks before he starts working up for the spring so we've got time up our sleeve," said Webster. If Happy Clapper fails to gain a slot in The Everest, Webster said it is possible he could campaign exclusively in Melbourne. "The Winx Stakes [in Sydney] would be the perfect start point if we go the weight-for-age route but that all depends on her. If she's there, Clapper won't be," said Webster. "There's so many races in Melbourne for him during the spring - the Memsie, Makybe Diva, Underwood, Turnbull, Caulfield Stakes and obviously the Cox Plate and Emirates. Michael will work all that out when the decisions need to be made."

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Happy Clapper (image: Steve Hart)

Wonder Mare Winx Wins Gr1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes

Monday, 16th April 2018

On day two of The Championships at Royal Randwick, Darley's deceased shuttler & Gr1 Dubai World Cup winner Street Cry (Machiavellian-Helen Street, by Troy) celebrated an elite race success when his champion 6YO daughter Winx (Street Cry-Vegas Showgirl, by Al Akbar) created history on several fronts when strolling to an outstanding last-to-first win in the showpiece event of The Championships - the weight-for-age $4 million Gr1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) - defeating Gailo Chop & Happy Clapper. The victory, which not only saw Winx equal Black Caviar's record of 25 straight wins but also become the first mare to win successive Queen Elizabeth's, advanced her record to an astonishing 29 wins (including the Gr1 Cox Plate – three times, Gr1 George Ryder Stakes - three times, Gr1 Turnbull Stakes, Gr1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes, Gr1 Caulfield Stakes, Gr1 George Main Stakes - twice, Gr1 Doncaster Mile, Gr1 Chipping Norton Stakes – three times, Gr1 Epsom Handicap, Gr1 Queensland Oaks, Gr2 Chelmsford Stakes, Gr2 Warwick Stakes – twice, Gr2 Apollo Stakes - twice, Gr2 Theo Marks Stakes, Gr2 Phar Lap Stakes & Gr2 Furious Stakes) and 3 placings (including the Gr1 Australian Oaks & Gr1 Flight Stakes) from 35 starts for Australian record earnings of $18,998,425. Trainer Chris Waller was in awe of Winx's accomplishment, saying she was not only a superior racehorse but that she excels under pressure. "It's hard to find the right words but that was very special, there was an arrogance about it," Waller told the Daily Telegraph. "She keeps lifting for the big occasions. Winx is a very dominant horse under pressure. It's only in those pressure scenarios that we see the best from her." As for Hugh Bowman, the Dunedoo-born jockey said he was just honoured to be a part of the Winx story. "The bottom line is she's got 10 to 12 lengths on her rivals, it makes it easy for me," Bowman said. "I know I've got the engine to round them up. She's just an exceptional athlete. I'm just so elated, I'm so proud of her and I'm just so proud to be a part of it." Winx was a $230,000 Magic Bloodstock purchase at the 2013 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale from the draft of Coolmore Stud.

Winx's wonderful milestones:

  • Equalled Black Caviar's record of 25 consecutive wins
  • All-time record Australian earnings of $18,998,425
  • Recorded her 18th win at Group 1 level - a world record
  • The first mare to win back-to-back Queen Elizabeth's

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The world's best - Winx (image: Steve Hart)

Gr1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes Final Field & Barriers

Wednesday, 11th April 2018

The final field has been declared and the barrier draw conducted for the showpiece event of The Championships, the weight-for-age $4 million Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) to be run at Royal Randwick this Saturday. First run in 1851 as the Queen's Plate, the Queen Elizabeth Stakes has been won by champion Australian racehorses including Carbine (1889-91), Wakeful (1901), Phar Lap (1930), Peter Pan (1933), Flight (1946), Tulloch (1960 & 61), Ming Dynasty (1978), Rough Habit (1992), Veandercross (1993), Might And Power (1998), Lonhro (2003), Grand Armee (2004 & 05), and of course Winx (2017).  Headlining this year's 10-horse field is the world's best horse Winx who will attempt to equal Black Caviar's record of 25 consecutive victories and claim her 18th Group 1 title. The Chris Waller-trained superstar set a new world record of 17 Group 1 victories (surpassing US champion John Henry) when landing the George Ryder Stakes at Rosehill on 24 March. Winx has drawn the outside gate (10) for the Queen Elizabeth but bookmakers are unperturbed, with the mighty mare a $1.15 chance with TAB to continue on her inexorable path to greatness. Unsurprisingly, all other runners are at double figure odds with Humidor next preferred in the market at $11, followed by Happy Clapper and Gailo Chop at $13.

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Winx (image: Steve Hart)

Happy Clapper Wins Gr1 Doncaster Mile

Monday, 9th April 2018

At Royal Randwick on day one of The Championships, Darley's unbeaten European Champion juvenile & dual Gr1-winning shuttler Teofilo (Galileo-Speirbhean, by Danehill) celebrated an elite race success when 7YO Australian-bred gelding Happy Clapper (Teofilo-Busking, by Encosta de Lago) showed his superiority when scoring a comfortable 2 length win in Australia's premier mile handicap, the $3 million Gr1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) for 3YO+, defeating Comin' Through & Arbeitsam. This was the third top-flight success for Happy Clapper who advanced his record to 11 wins (including the Gr1 Canterbury Stakes, Gr1 Epsom Handicap, Gr2 Tramway Stakes, Gr2 ATC Villiers Stakes) & Gr3 Newmarket Handicap) and 12 placings (including the Gr1 George Ryder Stakes, Gr1 VRC Emirates Stakes, Gr1 George Main Stakes, Gr1 ATC Doncaster Handicap – twice & Gr1 ATC Queen Elizabeth Stakes) from 34 starts for $5,945,050 in earnings. Winning trainer Pat Webster said the Doncaster was the one race he always wanted to win when he was growing up. "You can have your Golden Slippers and you can have your Cox Plates but when we were kids The Doncaster was always the race we wanted to win. I watched my first Doncaster from the Leger when Tobin Bronze won in 1967," Webster told Sky Racing. "I grew up here and this is the race I've always wanted to win. It's a dream." Jockey Blake Shinn commented: "That is amazing. I have just won a Doncaster," he said. "To win a Doncaster and put my name in the history books with this horse who deserves it is very special." Happy Clapper became just the tenth horse in history to claim the Epsom & Doncaster double, joining the likes of Winx, Super Impose and Gunsynd. Happy Clapper also earned himself an automatic entry in the Gr1 Breeders' Cup Mile at the Breeders' Cup World Championships at Kentucky on November 2-3.

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Happy Clapper (image: Steve Hart)

Gr1 Doncaster Mile: Preview & History

Friday, 6th April 2018

The $3 million Group 1 Doncaster Mile is the showpiece event on the opening day of The Championships at Royal Randwick tomorrow. First run way back in 1866 (Dundee was the inaugural winner), the Doncaster has since established itself as Australia's premier mile handicap having been won by turf luminaries such as Wakeful (1901), Chatham (1934), Tobin Bronze (1967, Gunsynd (1972), Emancipation (1983), Super Impose (1990 & 91), Sunline (1999), Grand Armee (2000), More Joyous (2012), and Winx (2016). Australian racing's First Lady, Gai Waterhouse, will be striving to become the most successful trainer in Doncaster history when she chases her eighth winner with Arbeitsam. Waterhouse currently shares the Doncaster record of 7 winners with her legendary father TJ Smith. Chris Waller is another trainer looking to build upon his successful Doncaster record. Exciting 3YO colt D'Argento is Waller's best chance of training a record equalling seventh Doncaster winner following the victories of Triple Honour (2008), Rangirangdoo (2010), Sacred Falls (2013 & 14), Kermadec (2015), and Winx (2016). This year's race is shaping as a cracking renewal with Godolphin's star 3YO colt Kementari the current pre-post favourite at $3.80 with TAB. Next in the market is the ultra-consistent Happy Clapper at $5, followed by D'Argento at $7.50 and dual Gr1 winner Humidor at $9. The Doncaster Mile will be run as race 9 at 4:30pm.

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Kementari Ready for GF

Thursday, 5th April 2018

Trainer James Cummings says the signs are positive that star colt Kementari can round out his 3YO season with a win in Saturday's $3 million Group 1 Doncaster Mile at Randwick. Cummings says Kementari is now ready to peak after four runs this time in, which have included a maiden Gr1 success in the Randwick Guineas (1600m) on 10 March and an excellent third behind Winx and Happy Clapper in the Gr1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) two weeks ago. "We'd been impressed to see the change in the horse leading into the George Ryder and after racing so well against Winx he seems to have come out of it with more energy," Cummings told Godolphin.com. "He's certainly looking like he's still on the rise which is perfect considering what he did at this track and distance in the Randwick Guineas two starts back." Cummings added: "We feel like we're going to see a big performance from him and for us, it's very exciting to saddle up a colt of his calibre in such a prestigious race. He gives a real sense of this being his grand final." Kementari, who will carry just 51.5kg on Saturday, is currently the $3.70 TAB favourite for the race ahead of Happy Clapper ($5) and fellow 3YO D'Argento ($7).

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Kementari (image: Steve Hart)

Webster Happy With Draw

Thursday, 5th April 2018

Trainer Pat Webster expressed his delight after Happy Clapper drew perfectly for Saturday's Group 1 Doncaster Mile at Randwick, but he is conscious of the weight advantage he must concede to his chief market rival Kementari. Happy Clapper, who will jump from barrier one in the $3 million feature, is considered a top contender for the major prize having finished runner-up to champion mare Winx in the Gr1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) two weeks ago. However, under the handicap conditions of the race, the 7YO must overcome a 3kg turnaround in favour of Kementari who finished so close to him (3rd, beaten 0.75 length) in the Ryder. "We drew two last year and finished second, so from one this time we should be winning," Webster joked when speaking to the Sydney Morning Herald. "People who say barriers don't count are mad. I would take barrier one in a steeplechase. It is the fastest way home." Webster added: "I don't know how Clapper can beat him [Kementari] at the weights but the old fella doesn't know how to run a bad run over the Randwick mile." Happy Clapper will be hoping it is third time lucky having finished runner-up in the Doncaster in the past two runnings of the race. Kementari is currently the $3.70 TAB favourite for the race ahead of Happy Clapper ($5) and fellow 3YO D'Argento ($7).

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Happy Clapper (image: Steve Hart)

Gr1 Doncaster Mile Field & Barriers

Wednesday, 4th April 2018

The final field has been declared and the barrier draw conducted for the $3 million Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) to be run at Royal Randwick this Saturday. First run way back in 1966 (Dundee was the inaugural winner), the Doncaster has since established itself as Australia's premier mile handicap having been won by turf luminaries such as Wakeful (1901), Chatham (1934), Tobin Bronze (1967, Gunsynd (1972), Emancipation (1983), Super Impose (1990 & 91), Sunline (1999), Grand Armee (2000), More Joyous (2012), and Winx (2016). This year's race is shaping as a cracking renewal with Godolphin's star 3YO colt Kementari the current pre-post favourite at $3.50 with TAB. Next in the market is the ultra-consistent Happy Clapper at $5, followed by the untapped 3YO D'Argento at $7 and dual Gr1 winner Humidor at $8. The Doncaster Mile will be run as race 9 on day one of The Championships at Royal Randwick at 4:30pm.

World's Best Winx Wins Gr1 George Ryder Stakes

Monday, 26th March 2018

At Rosehill Gardens in Sydney, Darley's deceased shuttler & Gr1 Dubai World Cup winner Street Cry (Machiavellian-Helen Street, by Troy) celebrated an elite race success when his 6YO champion daughter Winx (Street Cry-Vegas Showgirl, by Al Akbar) broke the world record for the most number of Group 1 wins with her 24th consecutive victory in the $1 million Gr1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) for 3YO+, defeating Happy Clapper & Kementari. Not only did Winx become the first horse in history to win three George Ryder's, but she also claimed the outright world record for the most number of Group 1 wins, with her 17th Group 1 title surpassing the previous benchmark set by US champion John Henry in 1984. The win advanced Winx's astonishing record to 28 wins (including the Gr1 Cox Plate – three times, Gr1 Turnbull Stakes, Gr1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes, Gr1 Caulfield Stakes, Gr1 George Main Stakes - twice, Gr1 Doncaster Mile, Gr1 George Ryder Stakes - twice, Gr1 Chipping Norton Stakes – three times, Gr1 Epsom Handicap, Gr1 Queensland Oaks, Gr2 Chelmsford Stakes, Gr2 Warwick Stakes – twice, Gr2 Apollo Stakes - twice, Gr2 Theo Marks Stakes, Gr2 Phar Lap Stakes & Gr2 Furious Stakes) and 3 placings (including the Gr1 Australian Oaks & Gr1 Flight Stakes) from 34 starts for $16,563,925 in earnings. Trainer Chris Waller commented: "It's pretty special, I try not to get too caught up in it," said Waller, "I like everybody else who is a racing or sporting tragic have to be pretty proud of her today." Winx's regular rider Hugh Bowman said: "I could feel the crowd erupt as we went to the front at the 200 metres. What a special, special horse she is and I'm just so grateful to be her jockey." Bowman added: "Each horse is an individual but this horse has captivated the attention of the world." Winx is set to make her next appearance in the $4 million Gr1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Royal Randwick on day two of The Championships (14 April). Connections will also decide in the coming days whether or not to embark on an overseas campaign aimed at Royal Ascot in June.

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The world's best horse Winx (image: Steve Hart)

Doncaster Mile Re-Handicaps

Wednesday, 21st March 2018

Racing NSW has announced the following re-handicaps for the Group 1 Doncaster Mile:

  • Daysee Doom - 53kg including 1kg penalty for winning Gr1 Coolmore Classic
  • Sovereign Nation - 50kg. No penalty for winning Listed March Stakes
  • Comin' Through - 51.kg. Exempt from ballot after winning Gr2 Ajax Stakes
  • Cliff's Edge - 49kg. Not eligible for penalty after winning Gr2 Alister Clark Stakes
  • Humidor - 58kg. Not eligible for penalty after winning Gr2 Blamey Stakes

The following horses are exempt from ballot in the Doncaster Mile:

  • Alizee
  • Crack Me
  • Happy Clapper
  • Kementari
  • Daysee Doom
  • Comin' Through

Ten Entered To Take On Winx

Tuesday, 20th March 2018

Superstar mare Winx headlines a field of eleven horses nominated for Saturday's Gr1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill. The George Ryder is shaping as an intriguing race with the likes of star colt Kementari, dual Gr1 winner Happy Clapper, and Winx's highly promising younger stable-mate D'Argento set to contest the $1 million weight-for-age feature. The Chris Waller-trained Winx surpassed Black Caviar in setting a new Australian record of 16 Group 1 victories when she opened her autumn campaign with an effortless 7 length win in the Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Randwick two weeks ago. She will be chasing her 24th consecutive victory in the George Ryder, after which connections will decide whether or not to embark on an international campaign aimed at Royal Ascot. Click here to view Rosehill nominations.

Happy Clapper Wins Gr1 Canterbury Stakes

Monday, 12th March 2018

At Royal Randwick in Sydney, Darley's unbeaten European Champion juvenile & dual Gr1-winning shuttler Teofilo (Galileo-Speirbhean, by Danehill) celebrated an elite race success when 7YO Australian-bred gelding Happy Clapper (Teofilo-Busking, by Encosta de Lago) showed he had returned from a break in tremendous order with a stylish first-up win in the $500,000 Gr1 weight-for-age Canterbury Stakes (1300m) for 3YO+, defeating Global Glamour & Invincible Gem. This was the second top-flight success for Happy Clapper after his Gr1 Epsom Handicap win in the spring which advanced his record to 10 wins (including the Gr1 Epsom Handicap, Gr2 Tramway Stakes, Gr2 ATC Villiers Stakes) & Gr3 Newmarket Handicap) and 11 placings (including the Gr1 VRC Emirates Stakes, Gr1 George Main Stakes, Gr1 ATC Doncaster Handicap – twice & Gr1 ATC Queen Elizabeth Stakes) from 32 starts for $3,875,800 in earnings. "I just hope I haven't taken too much out of him first-up but who cares, it is a Group One," trainer Pat Webster told Sky Racing. Webster and owner-breeder Michael Thomas will now discuss the best options for Happy Clapper ahead of his primary autumn target, the $3 million Gr1 Doncaster Mile at Randwick on 7 April. Thomas is also the breeder and part-owner of Happy Clapper's half-brother Not A Single Cent (Not A Single Doubt) who was an impressive winner of Saturday's Gr2 VRC Sires' Produce Stakes (1400m) at Flemington.

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Happy Clapper (image: Steve Hart)

Not A Single Cent Wins Gr2 Sires Produce Stakes

Monday, 12th March 2018

At Flemington in Melbourne, Arrowfield Stud's multiple stakes-winning stallion Not A Single Doubt (Redoute's Choice-Single's Bar, by Rory's Jester) added yet another stakes success in the $200,000 Gr2 Sires' Produce Stakes (1400m) for 2YOs with the Aaron Purcell-trained Not A Single Cent (Not A Single Doubt-Busking, by Encosta de Lago) defeating Seberate & Akkadian. This was the maiden victory for Not A Single Cent at only his second race start boosting his earnings to $123,050. Not A Single Cent was a $280,000 yearling purchase from the draft of Willow Park Stud at the 2017 Gold Coast Magic Millions. The promising colt is from the Encosta de Lago mare Busking and is a half-brother to Gr1 Epsom Handicap & Gr1 Canterbury Stakes winner Happy Clapper, as well as dual Gr3 stakes-placed filly Gig. Trainer Aaron Purcell commented post race to the Sydney Morning Herald: ''We were sure he was going to run well. He's a big, strong colt, a really well-bred horse, he's been in work quite a while." Purcell also confirmed that the Gr1 ATC Sires' Produce Stakes now appears on the colt's radar. ''There's a good chance he will head there now [to Sydney]. Knowing the horse well, he's always a strong horse, always finishing off his work really well. He takes a little while to wind up but the gaps came for him today and when the pressure came he dug deep to the line. I think this horse will be a mile-to-2000 metre horse for the spring. This trip of 1400 is definitely the shortest distance he is going to be effective at. He is a half-brother to Happy Clapper, a high-class mile-to-2000 horse."

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Not A Single Cent (image: Mark Gatt)

Doncaster Mile Weights Released

Tuesday, 27th February 2018

A total of 181 nominations have been weighted for the 153rd running of the $3 million Gr1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) to be run on day one of The Championships at Royal Randwick on Saturday, 7 April. Heading the weights for the time-honoured feature is dual Gr1 winner Humidor who has been allocated top weight of 58kg on a 50kg minimum (49kg for 3YOs). Next is three-time Gr1 winner Le Romain & dual Gr1-winning Japanese import Tosen Stardom with 57.5kg, followed by Gr1 Epsom Handicap winner Happy Clapper on 57kg. The highest weighted mare is Japanese mare Admire Lead with 54kg, while Victoria Derby hero Ace High heads the 3YOs with 53kg. Click here to view the full weights for the Doncaster Mile.

Canterbury Stakes First-Up for Clapper

Monday, 15th January 2018

Top-class Sydney galloper Happy Clapper (Teofilo-Busking, by Encosta de Lago) is set to open his autumn campaign in the Gr1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) at Royal Randwick on 10 March, reports ANZ Bloodstock News. A winner of the Gr1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) in the spring, Happy Clapper hasn't raced since finishing runner-up to Tosen Stardom in the Gr1 Emirates Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on 11 November. "I've decided to go with the Canterbury Stakes and a trial. He'll be 65 to 70 per cent first up and then it'll be the Doncaster," trainer Pat Webster said.

2017

Tosen Stardom Wins Gr1 Emirates Stakes

Monday, 13th November 2017

At Flemington in Melbourne, richly talented 7YO Japanese-bred entire Tosen Stardom (Deep Impact-Admire Kirameki, by End Sweep) claimed his second top flight success since arriving in Australia when overcoming difficulty in running to score an explosive win in the $2 million weight-for-age Gr1 Emirates Stakes (2000m) for 3YO+, defeating Happy Clapper & It's Somewhat. The Australian Bloodstock-owned Tosen Stardom advanced his record to 7 wins (including the Gr1 Toorak Handicap & Gr3 Hanshin Challenge Cup) and 4 placings (including the Gr1 Memsie Stakes, Gr1 Futurity Stakes & Gr1 Ranvet Stakes) from 25 starts for $3,360,607 in earnings. "That was the real Tosen Stardom today," trainer Darren Weir said. "That's the sort of ability we knew he had and thankfully we've been able to see it today."

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Tosen Stardom (image: Mark Gatt)

Oliver Loses Cup Suspension Appeal

Tuesday, 31st October 2017

Meanwhile, in a major prelude to next Tuesday's Gr1 Melbourne Cup at Flemington, high profile jockey Damien Oliver has lost his appeal against a suspension that has ruled him out of riding favourite, and last year's winner, Almandin in the big race. Overnight, ABC News reported that Oliver will have to serve his 20 racemeeting suspension meted out following last Saturday's historic Gr1 Cox Plate won by Winx. Stewards found Oliver guilty of improper riding after alleging he hampered subsequent fourth-placed Royal Symphony during the Moonee Valley feature in which he rode Happy Clapper. Oliver's failed appeal has resulted in leviathan owner Lloyd Williams turning to Frankie Dettori, a more than capable replacement albeit he is yet to win the two mile event since his first attempt 24 years ago.

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Almandin will be ridden by Frankie Detorri (pic: Steve Hart)

Cox Plate Tilt for Happy Clapper

Wednesday, 18th October 2017

Meanwhile, trainer Pat Webster says top-class Sydney galloper Happy Clapper (Teofilo-Busking, by Encosta de Lago) is also likely to line up in Saturday week's Gr1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley, reports racing.com. Happy Clapper, who was a narrowly beaten favourite in last Saturday's Gr3 Craven Plate (2000m) in Sydney, ran 6th (beaten 11 lengths) behind Winx in last year's Cox Plate. "It's only Tuesday but at this stage he has come through last Saturday better than I had thought he might," Webster said. "He ran sixth in the Cox Plate last year and is probably a better horse and in better shape this time around." Apart from Saturday's surprise defeat, Happy Clapper has been in arguably career best form this preparation winning the Gr1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) and finishing runner-up to Winx in the Gr1 George Main Stakes (1600m) in Sydney.

Foxplay Ready for Tristarc

Tuesday, 17th October 2017

Chris Waller says classy mare Foxplay (Foxwedge-Butters, by El Prado) is ready to return to the races in Saturday's Gr2 Tristarc Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield. A winner of the Gr1 Coolmore Legacy Stakes (otherwise known as the Gr1 Queen of The Turf Stakes) in the autumn, Foxplay will be lining up for her fourth start this preparation. The 4YO boasts top-class form having placed behind her champion stable-mate Winx in both the Gr2 Warwick Stakes (1400m) & Gr1 George Main Stakes (1600m), and most recently finishing fourth to Happy Clapper in the Gr1 Epsom Handicap. Waller was at Flemington on Saturday morning to watch Foxplay work over 1000 metres in which she covered the last 400m in 26.09 seconds. "She's come out of her last start fourth in the Epsom in really good order," Waller told racenet. "The race on Saturday looks ideal for her heading towards the Myer Classic [Gr1] here at Flemington on November 4." The Tristarc will be Foxplay's second start in Melbourne having finished fourth in the Gr1 Thousand Guineas as a 3YO.

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Foxplay (image: Steve Hart)

Classic Uniform Wins Gr3 Craven Plate

Monday, 16th October 2017

At Royal Randwick in Sydney, Emirates Park Stud's & Aquis Farm's Gr1 Australian Guineas winning stallion Al Maher (Danehill-Show Dancing, by Don't Say Halo) added a Group race success when 5YO bay gelding Classic Uniform (Al Maher-Pyrotechnics, by Canny Lad) scored an upset win by outstaying his rivals in the $500,000 Gr3 Craven Plate (2000m) for 3YO+, defeating odds-on race favourite Happy Clapper & McCreery. Classic Uniform improved his record to 7 wins (including the Gr2 Hill Stakes & Listed Parramatta Cup) and 16 placings (including the Listed ATC Winter Handicap) from 36 starts for $941,400 in earnings. A $170,000 purchase at the 2014 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale from the draft of Emirates Park, Classic Uniform's staying talent belies his speed-laden pedigree as he descends from the family of Gr1 Oakleigh Plate & Gr1 Lightning Stakes winner Sports, Gr2 Silver Shadow Stakes winner Seika, Gr3 winner Medals, and multiple stakes-winning sprinter Top Charger. Trainer Gary Moore said the Gr1 Kingston Town Classic in Perth or the Gr2 Villiers Stakes at Randwick over the summer were potential targets for Classic Uniform.

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Classic Uniform (image: Steve Hart)

Happy Clapper Wins Gr1 Epsom Handicap

Tuesday, 3rd October 2017

At Royal Randwick in Sydney, Darley's unbeaten European Champion juvenile & dual Gr1-winning shuttler Teofilo (Galileo-Speirbhean, by Danehill) celebrated an elite race success when 7YO bay gelding Happy Clapper (Teofilo-Busking, by Encosta de Lago) finally broke through for a thoroughly deserved maiden top-flight triumph in the $1 million Gr1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) for 3YO+, defeating Tom Melbourne & Snitzson. Shedding his "best horse yet to win a Group One" status after placing 4 times previously at Group One level, Happy Clapper advanced his record to 9 wins (including the Gr2 Tramway Stakes, Gr2 ATC Villiers Stakes) & Gr3 Newmarket Handicap) and 9 placings (including the Gr1 George Main Stakes, Gr1 ATC Doncaster Handicap – twice & Gr1 ATC Queen Elizabeth Stakes) from 28 starts for $3,029,800 in earnings. The Victory was all the more special as it was trainer Pat Webster's first Group One winner. "He is a great horse," Webster told Sky Racing. "He deserved it." Webster added: "It's my biggest moment in racing. We've had 16 Group winners but this is our first Group One."

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Happy Clapper (image: Steve Hart)

Gr1 Epsom Handicap Field & Barriers

Wednesday, 27th September 2017

The final field has been declared and the barrier draw conducted of the Gr1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) to be run at Royal Randwick racecourse this Saturday, 30 September. The Epsom, along with the Doncaster Mile, is regarded as the premier mile handicap on the Australasian racing calendar. The time-honoured feature boasts an honour roll comprising some of the greatest names of the Australian turf, including Nightmarch (1929), Chatham (1932/33), Shannon (1945), Noholme (1959), Gunsynd (1971), Super Impose (1990/91), and of course the mighty Winx (2015). This year a field of 14 high quality gallopers will contest the $1 million feature, headed by Happy Clapper who will carry top weight of 57kg. Among Happy Clapper's rivals are Group One winners Egg Tart, Foxplay, I Am A Star, Sound Proposition, He's Our Rokkii, and Group One-placed gallopers McCreery, Zanbagh and Comin' Through. Click below to view the full Epsom Handicap field.

Epsom at Happy Clapper's Mercy

Wednesday, 27th September 2017

Jockey Blake Shinn believes Happy Clapper is poised to claim his maiden Group One victory in Saturday's Epsom Handicap (1600m) at Royal Randwick. The Pat Webster-trained 7YO, who has been placed four times at Group One level, will be given every conceivable chance in the $1 million feature after drawing ideally in barrier four. Shinn's confidence is also buoyed by Happy Clapper's last-start performance when he charged home for second (beaten 1.3 lengths) behind champion mare Winx in the Gr1 George Main Stakes (1600m) in Sydney. There will be no Winx to contend with on Saturday. "I really hope for Pat Webster's sake that he can get that Group One because he has done an amazing job with the horse. Pat does a lot for the industry and he deserves it," Shinn told racingnsw.com.au. "He has got the best form lines of any horse going in so I'm very confident. He is in with the right weight [57kg] to win." Happy Clapper firmed from $4.50 into $3.60 with TAB after his favourable barrier draw.

Egg Tart Expected to Run

Wednesday, 27th September 2017

The Chris Waller stable is confident that dual Oaks winner Egg Tart (Sebring-Mrs Windsor, by King's Best) will line up in Saturday's Gr1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) after a vet inspection revealed she has an eye irritation to her near side eye, reports racingnsw.com.au. Racing NSW Senior Official Veterinarian, Dr Craig Suann said that the state of Egg Tart's eye meant that she was currently "not suitable" to run in the $1 million feature. Dr Suann will inspect Egg Tart again today to monitor her progress. "Eyes are very sensitive but it also means they are incredibly quick to heal," stable representative Charlie Duckworth said. "The turnaround we saw from Thursday last week to Friday was incredible. We have another 96 hours until the race and I'm sure it won't be an issue at all. If it had been, we wouldn't have accepted." Duckworth added: "She'll go around from a good barrier [barrier one] with a good jockey. She galloped this morning and galloped at Rosehill on Saturday. She hasn't missed a single day." Egg Tart, who resumed with a slashing second behind Deploy in the Gr2 Theo Marks Stakes (1300m) in a track record time of 1:14.92 (final 600 of 33.57), is currently the $5 TAB second favourite for the Epsom behind Happy Clapper at $3.60.

Winx Wins Gr1 George Main Stakes

Monday, 18th September 2017

At Royal Randwick in Sydney, Darley's deceased shuttler & Gr1 Dubai World Cup winner Street Cry (Machiavellian-Helen Street, by Troy) celebrated an elite race success when champion 6YO mare Winx (Street Cry-Vegas Showgirl, by Al Akbar) stormed home for yet another brilliant last-to-first win in the $500,000 Gr1 George Main Stakes (1600m) for 3YO+, defeating Happy Clapper & Foxplay. In claiming her 20th consecutive victory and the 13th at Group One level, Winx improved her remarkable record to 24 wins (including the Gr1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes, Gr1 Cox Plate - twice, Gr1 Caulfield Stakes, Gr1 George Main Stakes, Gr1 Doncaster Mile, Gr1 George Ryder Stakes - twice, Gr1 Chipping Norton Stakes - twice, Gr1 Epsom Handicap, Gr1 Queensland Oaks, Gr2 Chelmsford Stakes, Gr2 Warwick Stakes – twice, Gr2 Apollo Stakes - twice, Gr2 Theo Marks Stakes, Gr2 Phar Lap Stakes & Gr2 Furious Stakes) and 3 placings (including the Gr1 Australian Oaks & Gr1 Flight Stakes) from 30 starts for $13,475,425 in earnings. Winx, who was a $230,000 Magic Bloodstock purchase at the 2013 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale from the draft of Coolmore Stud, is aiming to create history this spring by joining the legendary Kingston Town as the only horse to win three Cox Plates. Trainer Chris Waller said Winx was likely to have one more run in Sydney before travelling south to Melbourne for her date with destiny. "She's going terrific. She's spot on. The first Cox Plate she won off three runs. Her second Cox Plate was off four runs and this year she'll probably run in it off her sixth run," Waller said. "It's our job now to protect her and make sure she is there and the public can continue to enjoy her."

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Winx (image: Steve Hart)

Winx Heads George Main Entries

Tuesday, 12th September 2017

Winx will face a maximum of ten rivals when she makes the third appearance of her campaign in Saturday's Gr1 George Main Stakes (1600m) at Royal Randwick. The champion mare is currently $1.10 with TAB for the $500,000 weight-for-age feature in which she will be chasing her 20th consecutive win and her 13th at Group One level. Winx is aiming to create history this spring by joining the legendary Kingston Town as the only horse to win three Cox Plates. Her nearest market rivals on Saturday are Happy Clapper and Le Romain at $15. Click here to view all race nominations for Royal Randwick this Saturday.

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Winx (image: Steve Hart)

Happy Clapper Wins Gr2 Tramway Stakes

Monday, 4th September 2017

At Royal Randwick in Sydney on Saturday, unbeaten European Champion juvenile & dual Gr1-winning Darley shuttler Teofilo (Galileo-Speirbhean, by Danehill) added a Group success when 7YO gelding Happy Clapper (Teofilo-Busking, by Encosta de Lago) powered home by 0.8-length for trainer Pat Webster in the $198,000 Gr2 Tramway Stakes (1400m). Given a patient ride by Josh Adams, Happy Clapper defeated 6YO gelding Tom Melbourne (Dylan Thomas) & 4YO mare Invincible Gem (I Am Invincible). The win took Happy Clapper's record to 8 wins (including the Gr2 ATC Villiers Stakes) & Gr3 Newmarket Handicap) and 8 placings (including the Gr1 ATC Doncaster Handicap – twice & Gr1 ATC Queen Elizabeth Stakes) from 26 starts for $2,348,800 earnings. He is expected to line up in the Gr1 Epsom Handicap.

Winx to Trial Today

Tuesday, 8th August 2017

Champion mare Winx (Street Cry-Vegas Showgirl, by Al Akbar) will make the second public appearance of her spring preparation when she barrier trials at 8:45am at Randwick this morning. The Chris Waller trainee will contest the opening 1000m heat of the morning in which she will line up against the likes of Gr1 winning colt Invader, Happy Clapper, Pariah, and Daysee Doom. Winx, who was inducted into the Australian Racing Hall of Fame in May this year, is preparing for an historic spring campaign in which she will attempt to join the legendary Kingston Town as the only horse to win three Cox Plates. She will open her spring campaign in the weight-for-age Gr2 Warwick Stakes (1400m) at Royal Randwick on 19 August. Click here to view all the Randwick trial information.

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Winx winning the Gr1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes in the autumn (image: Steve Hart)

Gr1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes Field & Barrier Draw

Wednesday, 5th April 2017

The final field has been declared and the barrier draw conducted for the showpiece event of The Championships – the $4 million weight-for-age Gr1 Queens Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) – to be run at Royal Randwick this Saturday, 8 April. The race takes on special significance as the final autumn appearance of champion mare Winx, who will be chasing her 17th consecutive victory and an incredible 12th at Gr1 level. The world's equal highest rated horse (alongside Arrogate) has drawn perfectly in barrier three and will be partnered by her regular rider Hugh Bowman. Such is Winx's dominance that she is rated a $1.10 chance with Tab, practically rendering the Queen Elizabeth a non-betting affair except for those intrepid punters with Mariana Trench-like pockets. Winx's nearest market rival, Hartnell ($11), will jump from barrier one. The final field is:

  1. HARTNELL (John O'Shea-James Doyle) 59kg (1)
  2. EXOSPHERIC (Lee & Anthony Freedman-Kerrin McEvoy) 59kg (2)
  3. HAPPY CLAPPER (Patrick Webster-Blake Shinn) 59kg (5)
  4. THE UNITED STATES (Robert Hickmott-Damien Oliver) 59kg (7)
  5. SENSE OF OCCASION (Kris Lees-Corey Brown) 59kg (4)
  6. HARLEM (David & B Hayes & T Dabernig-Craig Williams) 59kg (8)
  7. SINGING (Kris Lees-Sam Clipperton) 59kg (9)
  8. NO DOUBT (Anthony & Edward Cummings-Tommy Berry) 59kg (6)
  9. WINX (Chris Waller-Hugh Bowman) 57kg (3)

It's Somewhat Wins Gr1 Doncaster Mile

Monday, 3rd April 2017

On day one of The Championships at Royal Randwick in Sydney, highly talented 6YO US-bred gelding It's Somewhat (Dynaformer-Sometime, by Royal Academy) finally broke through at the highest level when scoring a front running 0.5 length win for trainer John O'Shea in Australia's premier mile race - the $3 million Gr1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) for 3YO+ - over fellow 6YO geldings Happy Clapper (Teofilo-Busking, by Encosta de Lago) & Sense of Occasion (Street Sense-Saywaan, by Zabeel). The Godolphin-owned It's Somewhat improved his record to 8 wins (including the Gr2 Ajax Stakes, Gr3 Craven Plate & Gr3 Neville Sellwood Stakes) and 10 placings (including the Gr1 Doomben Cup & Gr1 George Main Stakes) from 31 starts for $2,893,679 earnings. Trainer John O'Shea and jockey Zac Purton decided pre-race that the best place to be was on the fence and in front and that is exactly how it worked out as It's Somewhat kicked clear in the straight to hold off the late challenge of Happy Clapper. "We decided we had to ride the race according to how the track was playing and Zac pulled out a perfect ride," O'Shea told Godolphin.com. "It was a tremendous team effort by everyone at home and everyone here on the day."

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It's Somewhat (image: Steve Hart)

Gr1 Doncaster Field & Barrier Draw

Wednesday, 29th March 2017

The final field has been declared and the barrier draw conducted for the $3 million Gr1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) to be run at Royal Randwick this Saturday. The capacity field of 20 plus three emergencies is headed by Godolphin's Hauraki who will carry top weight of 57kg. The highest rated horse in the field and favourite for the race is three-time Gr1 winner Le Romain. The Kris Lees-trained 4YO has drawn nicely in barrier six and is currently the $6 Tab market elect ahead of Hauraki (barrier 16) and McCreery (barrier 17) at $8. The only other runner under double-figure odds is brilliant last-start Gr3 Newcastle Newmarket winner Happy Clapper (barrier 2) at $9.50. Click here to view all the Doncaster Mile field on day one of The Championships this Saturday.

Doncaster Penalty for Happy Clapper

Tuesday, 21st March 2017

Happy Clapper (Teofilo-Busking, by Encosta de Lago) has received a 1kg penalty for the Doncaster Mile after winning last Friday's Gr3 Newmarket Handicap (1400m) at Newcastle. The Pat Webster-trained 6YO will now carry 54.5kg in the $3 million Gr1 feature at Royal Randwick on 1 April.

Happy Clapper Wins Gr3 Newcastle Newmarket Handicap

Monday, 20th March 2017

At Newcastle in the Hunter region of NSW, unbeaten European Champion juvenile & dual Gr1-winning Darley shuttler Teofilo (Galileo-Speirbhean, by Danehill) added a Group success when 6YO gelding Happy Clapper (Teofilo-Busking, by Encosta de Lago) bounded clear for a dominant 3.45 length win for trainer Pat Webster in the $150,000 Gr3 Newcastle Newmarket Handicap (1400m) for 3YO+, over 7YO gelding Got Unders (Southern Image-Frantoio, by Danehill) & 7YO mare Kellyville Flyer (Oratorio-Mountain Echo, by Scenic). Happy Clapper improved his record to 7 wins (including the Gr2 ATC Villiers Stakes) and 7 placings (including the Gr1 ATC Doncaster Handicap & Gr1 ATC Queen Elizabeth Stakes) from 23 starts for $1,563,000 earnings. Jockey Blake Shinn said the result was never in doubt. "It was very easy and I'm so delighted to be back on this horse…he rounded them up easily," Shinn told Sky Racing. "Hopefully he can go on to bigger and better things and win a big race." Happy Clapper is expected to have his next start in the $3 million Gr1 Doncaster Mile at Royal Randwick on 1 April.

Gr1 George Ryder Field & Barrier Draw

Thursday, 16th March 2017

Champion mare Winx will face eight rivals in Saturday's Gr1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill. The world's best turf horse will be seeking her 16th consecutive victory and her 11th at Gr1 level in the $1 million weight-for-age event which is one of five Group One features on Golden Slipper day. The Chris Waller-trained mare has drawn barrier eight for the time-honoured event for which she is a $1.15 chance with Tab. According to the market, the only horse expected to pose any sort of threat to Winx is Chautauqua who is rated an $8 chance. Of the original eleven horses nominated, only Black Heart Bart and Happy Clapper failed to accept. The final field is:

  1. CHAUTAUQUA (Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes-T Berry) 59kg (1)
  2. LE ROMAIN (Kris Lees-Glyn Schofield) 59kg (7)
  3. HAURAKI (John O'Shea-William Buick) 59kg (2)
  4. TOSEN STARDOM (Darren Weir-Craig Williams) 59kg (9)
  5. LEEBAZ (Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes-C Reith) 59kg (3)
  6. MCCREERY (Chris Waller-Kerrin McEvoy) 59kg (6)
  7. ENDLESS DRAMA (Chris Waller-Tye Angland) 59kg (4)
  8. WINX (Chris Waller-Hugh Bowman) 57kg (8)
  9. SYLPHEED (Toby Edmonds-Kanichiro Fujii) 54kg (5)

Gold Symphony Wins Listed National Sprint

Monday, 6th March 2017

At Canberra in the Australian Capital Territory, Chatswood Stud's Gr1 Blue Diamond Stakes winning stallion Reward For Effort (Exceed And Excel-Miss Prospect, by Rory's Jester) added a black-type success when 4YO bay gelding Gold Symphony (Reward for Effort-Tzaress, by Stravinsky) scored by 1.8 lengths for trainers Peter & Paul Snowden in the $130,000 Listed National Sprint (1400m) for 3YO+, over 6YO gelding Happy Clapper (Teofilo-Busking, by Encosta de Lago) & fellow 4YO gelding Handfast (Street Cry-Lobola, by Anabaa). Gold Symphony, who hails from the same female line as Golden Slipper winner Belle Du Jour, is raced by Triple Crown Syndications who purchased him for $100,000 at the 2014 Inglis Premier Yearling Sale from the draft of Grange Thoroughbreds. This was the third stakes victory for Gold Symphony who improved his record to 5 wins (including the Gr3 McNeil Stakes & Gr3 Vain Stakes) and 3 placings from 17 starts for $417,500 earnings.

2016

Gr1 Emirates Stakes Field & Barriers

Thursday, 3rd November 2016

The final field has been declared and the barrier draw conducted for the $2 million weight-for-age Gr1 Emirates Stakes (2000m) to be run at Flemington this Saturday, the last day of the Melbourne Cup carnival. Despite a purse of $2 million, the Emirates Stakes, formerly known as the Mackinnon Stakes, has failed to attract a capacity field of 16 with just 13 horses entered in the race. However, it still promises to be a high class affair with the likes of Gr1 winners Palentino, Hauraki, Happy Trails, The United States, Vanbrugh, and Awesome Rock set to line up. Caulfield Cup runner-up Scottish and Cox Plate fourth Vadamos are the only international runners in the race. For French star Vadamos, who is part-owned by John Camilleri of Fairway Thoroughbreds, it will be his final racetrack appearance before retiring to Tally-Ho Stud in Ireland. Favourite for the race is currently The United Stakes at $3.70, ahead of Vadamos at $4.60 and Scottish at $4.80. The Emirates field is:

1. HAPPY TRAILS (Paul Beshara-Dwayne Dunn) 59kg (8)

2. HAURAKI (John O'Shea-James McDonald) 59kg (1)

3. THE UNITED STATES (Robert Hickmott-Kerrin McEvoy) 59kg (11)

4. HAPPY CLAPPER (Patrick Webster-Brenton Avdulla) 59kg (13)

5. VADAMOS (Andre Fabre-Damien Oliver) 59kg (7)

6. AWESOME ROCK (Leon & Troy Corstens-Stephen Baster) 59kg (9)

7. SCOTTISH (Charlie Appleby-William Buick) 59kg (6)

8. ENDLESS DRAMA (Chris Waller-Craig Williams) 59kg (4)

9. PALENTINO (Darren Weir-Mark Zahra) 58.5kg (5)

10. VANBRUGH (Chris Waller-Ben Melham) 58.5kg (10)

11. TIVACI (Michael Moroney-Patrick Moloney) 58.5kg (12)

12. GOOD STANDING (James Cummings-Chad Schofield) 51kg (3)

13. SEABURGE (David & B Hayes & T Dabernig-D Yendall) 51kg (2)

Gr1 Cox Plate Field & Barrier Draw

Wednesday, 19th October 2016

The final field has been declared and the barrier draw conducted for the 96th running of the $3 million weight-for-age Gr1 WS Cox Plate (2040m) to be run at Moonee Valley on Saturday. Defending champion Winx has firmed as favourite into $1.90 after drawing ideally in barrier three, while Hartnell, rated by many as the number one challenger to Winx's standing as Australia's best racehorse, remains a $3 chance after drawing barrier seven. All other runners are at double figure odds, with next best being Yankee Rose (1) and Vadamos (2) at $14. The field is:

1. HAPPY TRAILS (Paul Beshara-Ben Melham) 59kg (10)

2. BLACK HEART BART (Darren Weir-Brad Rawiller) 59kg (6)

3. HARTNELL (John O'Shea-James McDonald) 59kg (7)

4. HAURAKI (John O'Shea) 59kg (8)

5. HAPPY CLAPPER (Patrick Webster-Brenton Avdulla) 59kg (4)

6. VADAMOS (Andre Fabre-Joao Moreira) 59kg (2)

7. AWESOME ROCK (Leon & Troy Corstens-Stephen Baster) 59kg (5)

8. WINX (Chris Waller-Hugh Bowman) 57kg (3)

9. LUCIA VALENTINA (Kris Lees-Kerrin McEvoy) 57kg (9)

10. YANKEE ROSE (David Vandyke-Dean Yendall) 47.5kg (1)

Winx Headlines Breakfast With The Best

Tuesday, 18th October 2016

Winx will have her final serious hit-out for Saturday's 96th running of the Gr1 WS Cox Plate (2040m) at today's Breakfast With The Best at Moonee Valley. The Chris Waller-trained Winx, who is a $2.20 favourite for the $3 million showpiece, will be joined by fellow Cox Plate contenders Yankee Rose, Happy Clapper and Awesome Rock at this morning's trackwork session. Winx scored a stunning 4.75-length win in last year's edition of the Cox Plate when smashing Might And Power's course record that had stood since 1998. She will be seeking her 13th consecutive victory on Saturday.

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Winx winning last year's Cox Plate (image: Mark Gatt)

Gr1 Epsom Handicap Field & Draw

Wednesday, 28th September 2016

The final field has been declared and the barrier draw conducted for the time honoured $1 million Gr1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) to be run at Royal Randwick on Saturday. Favourite for the race is the Godolphin-owned Hauraki at $5.50, ahead of last-start Gr1 Makybe Diva Stakes winner Palentino at $6. Next in the betting is the progressive import McCreery at $6.50, then dual Gr1 placegetter Happy Clapper at $7.50, while the Gai Waterhouse-trained Fabrizio is the only other runner under double figure odds at $8. The field is:

1. PALENTINO (Darren Weir-Mark Zahra) 57kg (9)

2. HAURAKI (John O'Shea-James McDonald) 56kg (10)

3. LE ROMAIN (Kris Lees-Hugh Bowman) 55.5kg (3)

4. HAPPY CLAPPER (Patrick Webster-Brenton Avdulla) 55kg (1)

5. MIGHTY LUCKY (Fred Cowell-Chris O'Brien) 54.5kg (12)

6. DIBAYANI (David & B Hayes & T Dabernig-Damian Lane) 54kg (11)

7. SONS OF JOHN (Jason Attard-Glen Boss) 53kg (13)

8. MACKINTOSH (Chris Waller-Tommy Berry) 52kg (2)

9. MCCREERY (Chris Waller-Kerrin McEvoy) 51.5kg (4)

10. HEAVENS ABOVE (Tim Martin-Corey Brown) 51kg (8)

11. VANBRUGH (Chris Waller-Craig Newitt) 51kg (7)

12. TORGERSEN (Chris Waller-Kathy O'Hara) 50kg (5)

13. FABRIZIO (Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott-Johan Victoire) 50kg (6)

Tramway First-Up For Happy Clapper

Wednesday, 31st August 2016

Group One performer Happy Clapper (Teofilo-Busking, by Encosta de Lago) will kick off his Epsom Handicap campaign in Saturday's Gr2 Tramway Stakes (1400m) at Randwick. The 6YO stamped himself as one of the most talented horses in Sydney when recording consecutive Gr1 placings behind star mares Winx and Lucia Valentina in the Doncaster Handicap and Queens Elizabeth Stakes in the autumn. "He might take a little longer to peak this time because he had a really good spell and he's a bit older but we're happy with his progress and are looking forward to Saturday," Webster said.  "He put on 38 kilos during his spell but these Teofilo breeds lighten up very quickly. There's not a lot of that 38 kilos still there now." He added: "He was breaking new ground last preparation and I think he's a 2000-metre horse now more than a miler but that's what you need to win an Epsom." Webster will wait until after the Epsom before deciding whether to take Happy Clapper south for the spring carnival in Melbourne. The $1 million Gr1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) will be run at Royal Randwick on 1 October.

Tramway First-Up For Happy Clapper

Thursday, 7th July 2016

Sydney trainer Pat Webster has indicated that Gr1 performer Happy Clapper is likely to kick off his spring campaign in the Gr2 Tramway Stakes (1400m) at Royal Randwick on 3 September. Happy Clapper (Teofilo-Busking, by Encosta de Lago) showed why Webster considers him a future topliner when claiming Gr1 placings behind superstar mare Winx in the Doncaster Handicap and Lucia Valentina in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes in the autumn. Webster said Happy Clapper will only have a handful of starts in Sydney, including the Gr1 Epsom Handicap (1600m), before heading to Melbourne to prepare for his primary target, the Gr1 WS Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on 22 October. "Obviously we won't have the luxury of carrying 50.5 kilograms in the Epsom like we did in the Doncaster but the indication is that we should get a competitive weight given he is yet to win a Group 1 race," said Webster. "After the Epsom we would love to come to Melbourne if his form warrants it, it would be a dream to have a runner in the Cox Plate but I know it is not a race that you just run in for the sake of it." He added: "He will need to earn his spot and if that happens a race like the Mackinnon Stakes, run now a fortnight later, would be a nice progression."

Lucia Valentina Wins Gr1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes

Monday, 11th April 2016

At Royal Randwick in Sydney, Waikato Stud's Cox Plate winning stallion Savabeel (Zabeel-Savannah Success, by Success Express) celebrated an elite success when top-class 5YO New Zealand-bred mare Lucia Valentina (Savabeel-Staryn Glenn, by Montjeu) finished powerfully to score by 2.3 lengths for trainer Kris Lees in the showpiece event of The Championships, the $4 million Gr1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) for 3YO+, over 6YO Irish-bred entire The United States (Galileo-Beauty is Truth, by Pivotal) & 5YO gelding Happy Clapper (Teofilo-Busking, by Encosta de Lago). Newcastle-based trainer Kris Lees said it was a very rewarding victory. "It's a great result. It's very rewarding when you set a horse for a race so far out," Lees told Sky Racing. "She was going up to 2000 metres, her pet distance, she had a month between runs - I had no doubt she would be effective second-up." He added: "She has that wonderful turn of foot. That's her career best performance, no doubt. They [the owners] are talking about sending her to stud but I think I might have to talk to them about going around again [next season]." Champion jockey Damien Oliver was likewise impressed with the win. "That's amazing," he said. "She couldn't go with them at all early but If you just leave her alone this mare she will reward you late. he added: "Coming to the turn I had a lot of horse but not much room to move, but she picked herself up and just went whoosh!" Lucia Valentina, who was purchased by Bruce Perry Bloodstock for NZ$60,000 at the 2012 NZB Premier Yearling Sale on behalf of Wellington businessman Lib Petagna, advanced her record to 7 wins (including the Gr1 Turnbull Stakes, Gr1 Vinery Stud Stakes, Gr2 VRC Matriarch Stakes, Gr2 Tramway Stakes & Gr3 Wellington Stakes) and 5 placings (including the Gr1 Ranvet Stakes, Gr1 Australian Oaks, Gr2 Surround Stakes & Gr2 Royal Stakes) from 27 starts for $4,219,089 earnings.

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Top-class mare Lucia Valentina blitzes the Queen Elizabeth field (image: Steve Hart)

Winx Wins Gr1 Doncaster Mile

Monday, 4th April 2016

At Royal Randwick in Sydney, Darley's deceased shuttler & Gr1 Dubai World Cup winner Street Cry (Machiavellian-Helen Street, by Troy) celebrated an elite success when superstar 4YO mare Winx (Street Cry-Vegas Showgirl, by Al Akbar) scored by 2 lengths for trainer Chris Waller and jockey Hugh Bowman in the $3 million Gr1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) for 3YO+, over 5YO gelding Happy Clapper (Teofilo-Busking, by Encosta de Lago) & fellow 4YO mare Azkadellia (Shinko King-Raving, by Centaine). Winx, from the dual stakes-winning New Zealand mare Vegas Showgirl, was a $230,000 purchase by Magic Bloodstock at the 2013 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale from the draft of Coolmore Stud. Her latest victory boosted her record to 13 wins (including the Gr1 George Ryder Stakes, Gr1 Cox Plate, Gr1 Chipping Norton, Gr1 Epsom Handicap, Gr1 Queensland Oaks, Gr2 Apollo Stakes, Gr2 Theo Marks Stakes, Gr2 Phar Lap Stakes & Gr2 Furious Stakes) and 3 placings (including the Gr1 Australian Oaks & Gr1 Flight Stakes) from 19 starts for $6,678,425 earnings. Winx showed why she deserves to be called a champion in recording her ninth consecutive victory and her sixth at Gr1 level. Trainer Chris Waller said he would monitor Winx's condition over the next few days before deciding whether or not to back her up in Saturday's $4 million Gr1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick. "I'll call her a champion while I can speak," an emotional winning trainer Chris Waller said. "I wouldn't say it's a blur but it's pretty unbelievable. I thought she was beaten at the half mile, let alone the 200 metre mark." He added: "She must have an amazing will to win. It must be that. She is no more brilliant in work at home any other day of the week...It's pretty special." Segenhoe Stud, as agent for breeder Fairway Thoroughbreds, will offer a half-brother (Lot 135) to Winx and a full-brother to Kindergarten Stakes winner El Divino at Tuesday's opening session of the Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale at Randwick in Sydney.

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Winx lays down her champion credentials (image: Steve Hart)

Doncaster Mile Final Field

Wednesday, 30th March 2016

The final field has been declared and the barrier draw conducted for the world's richest mile race, the $3 million Gr1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) to be run at Royal Randwick on Saturday. Australia's best racehorse Winx has drawn barrier 11 in the 15-horse field. Chasing her ninth consecutive victory and her sixth Gr1 title, Winx is currently the $1.85 TAB favourite for Saturday's time-honoured feature. The only other horse under double figure odds is Winx's stable-mate and defending Doncaster champion Kermadec at $6.50. The final field is:

1. KERMADEC (Chris Waller-Zac Purton) 57kg (3)

2. TURN ME LOOSE (Murray Baker-Opie Bosson) 57kg (9)

3. WINX (Chris Waller-Hugh Bowman) 56.5kg (11)

4. STRATUM STAR (Darren Weir-Mark Zahra) 55kg (2)

5. BOW CREEK (John O'Shea-James McDonald) 54.5kg (4)

6. FIRST SEAL (John Thompson-Tommy Berry) 53kg (1)

7. VOLKSTOK'N'BARRELL (Donna Logan & Chris Gibbs) 52.5kg (10)

8. GOOD PROJECT (Chris Waller-Craig Newitt) 52kg (7)

9. ECUADOR (Gai Waterhouse-Tim Clark) 52kg (14)

10. HAPPY CLAPPER (Patrick Webster-Brenton Avdulla) 50.5kg (8)

11. AZKADELLIA (Ciaron Maher-Glen Boss) 50kg (12)

12. HE OR SHE (David Hayes & Tom Dabernig-Patrick Moloney) 50kg (13)

13. RUDY (Helen Page) 50kg (15)

14. AOMEN (Anthony Cummings) 50kg (5)

15. VERGARA (Anthony Cummings) 50kg (6)

Record Entries For TJ Smith Stakes

Thursday, 10th March 2016

The $2.5 million Gr1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) has received a record number of first acceptances following the closing deadline. The number of entries for the feature sprint have steadily risen from 46 in 2014 to 54 first acceptances this year. The $1 million Inglis Sires' (1400m) also rose from 70 in 2015 to 78 this year, along with the $2 million Australian Derby (2400m) which is a couple up from last year (46 first acceptances). "The TJ Smith Stakes has become an iconic race and interest grows each year," said Mr Peter V'landys AM, Racing NSW's Chief Executive. "In just two editions we have seen some outstanding sprinters contest the race with superstars Chautauqua and Lankan Rupee winning." He added: "This year's TJ Smith will be another great race with Chautauqua back to defend his crown in what will be a star-studded couple of days racing during The Championships." The $3 million Doncaster Mile (1600m) attracted 74 first acceptances with some outstanding talent set to compete in the time-honoured event including Press Statement, Turn Me Loose, Happy Clapper, Victorian visitor Azkadellia, last year's winner Kermadec and the 'find' of the autumn, Le Romain. The $4 million Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) has 60 first acceptances and is led by ruling favourite Winx, along with 2015 Australian Derby winner Mongolian Khan, last year's victor Criterion, Bow Creek and highly-regarded Japanese galloper, Tosen Stardom. Australian Turf Club's CEO, Darren Pearce, said: "The strong number of entries across all races is further evidence of the growing stature of The Championships. The Star Doncaster Mile, with a greater spread of weights this year, is shaping as one of the races of the Sydney Autumn Carnival, continuing in the great tradition of the famous Royal Randwick mile. Click here to view first acceptance for Day One of The Championships featuring the Doncaster, TJ Smith, Australian Derby and Sires' Produce. Click here to view first acceptances for Day Two of The Championships featuring the Queen Elizabeth Stakes, Sydney Cup and Australian Oaks.

Small Randwick Fields Stacked With Quality

Thursday, 3rd March 2016

Meanwhile, while it might not contribute to ideal betting turnover, the across the board relatively small fields for Saturday's Gr1 Randwick Guineas Day have thrown up some beautiful tactical battles between key rivals. The biggest field for any of the 9 races on the card is 13 (Randwick Guineas & Wenona Girl Handicap), dropping down to 6 for the Gr2 Todman Stakes which sees Golden Slipper favourite Capitalist up against Astern, Tessera, Defcon and Weatherly, plus the beautifully bred debut winner Kiss And Make Up (Redoute's Choice-Fashions Afield) in which Gai Waterhouse shares ownership with John Singleton and others. Likewise, the Gr1 Canterbury Stakes field of 7 is low in numbers, but certainly not quality: Criterion, Kermadec, Our Boy Malachi, First Seal, Ecuador, Happy Clapper and Holler will all find betting support.

2015

Happy Clapper Wins Gr2 Villiers Stakes

Monday, 14th December 2015

At Randwick in Sydney, unbeaten European Champion juvenile & dual Gr1-winning Darley shuttler Teofilo (Galileo-Speirbhean, by Danehill) added a Group success when 5YO gelding Happy Clapper (Teofilo-Busking, by Encosta de Lago) scored by 1-length for trainer Pat Webster in the $250,000 Gr2 Villiers Stakes (1600m) for 3YO+, over 5YO mare Tinto (Red Dazzler-Truly Brave, by Brave Warrior) & 5YO US-bred gelding It's Somewhat (Dynaformer-Sometime, by Royal Academy). This was the first stakes victory for the highly progressive Happy Clapper who took his record to 7 wins and 4 placings from 13 starts for $333,850 earnings. "It's been a long road with this horse and this makes it all worthwhile," stable representative Wayne Webster told Sky Racing. "He's a very good horse." Such is Webster's opinion of Happy Clapper that he intimated the horse may be able to develop into a Gr1 horse in time. "I think once he gets to 2000 metres he can go to the next level," he said.

Happy Clapper

Happy Clapper scores in the Villiers Stakes (image: Steve Hart)

Punters Look To Heavens For Villiers Guidance

Friday, 11th December 2015

Tomorrow's Gr2 Inglis Villiers Stakes (1600m) is made up of a capacity 20-horse field, and punters are having hard time settling on a favourite. While the money has come for the Chris Waller-trained Puccini (in from $15 to $10), the best omen bet ahead of Christmas could come in the form of Happy Clapper ($5.00) & God's In Him ($8.50), particularly as they are carded together as numbers 15 & 16, respectively. Omen tips aside, the best each way chances could be Frespanol ($10) & Casino Dancer ($17). The Gai Waterhouse-trained runner flopped when favoured two weeks ago in the Listed Festival Stakes – all three place-getters clash again – but from the inside barrier he is likely to be far closer to the action when heads are turned for home. By Vinery Stud stallion Casino Prince, Casino Dancer is in ultra consistent form with two Group wins from her past four starts, and she's also drawn to be handy.

Casino Prince

Casino Prince

2013

Savvy Nature Wins Gr3 Spring Stakes

Thursday, 19th September 2013

At Newcastle in NSW, Waikato Stud's Cox Plate winning stallion Savabeel (Zabeel-Savannah Success, by Success Express) added a group success when 3YO gelding Savvy Nature (Savabeel-Generous Nature, by Carnegie) scored by 1.5-lengths for trainer John O'Shea in the $150,000 Gr3 Spring Stakes (1600m) for 3YOs, over the filly Wordplay (Fastnet Rock-Cryptic Miss, by Snippets) & fellow gelding Happy Clapper (Teofilo-Busking, by Encosta de Lago). This was the promising Savvy Nature's first stakes victory and took his record to 2 wins & 2 placings from 4 starts for $119,150 earnings. O'Shea confirmed that Savvy Nature would have his next start in the $200,000 Gr3 Gloaming Stakes (1800m) at Rosehill Gardens on September 28. "He is a big gross colt who will thrive on racing," O'Shea told racingnetwork.com.au. "He is about 555kg today and I think his perfect racing weight will be about 540kg. Today was only his fourth ever start, there is good improvement in him."