The Clapper and Bossy – the Randwick mile specialists

The Clapper and Bossy – the Randwick mile specialists

George Main Stakes: Jockey Glen Boss the ideal wingman for fan favourite Happy Clapper in mile

 Ray Thomas,  Racing Editor,   The Daily Telegraph

Sydney’s most popular racehorse, Happy Clapper, and Hall of Fame jockey Glen Boss are the epitome of Randwick “mile” specialists.

Happy Clapper, the nine-year-old who is showing no signs of slowing down, is already the winner of the 2017 Epsom Handicap and 2018 Doncaster Mile and the 2015 Villiers Stakes over the Randwick 1600m course.

The Pat Webster-trained gelding ran second in successive Doncasters behind the great Winx (2016) and It’s Somewhat (2017), and also second to Winx in the 2017 George Main Stakes.

Boss also knows a thing or two about winning over the Randwick 1600m. He has ridden a record seven Doncaster Mile winners including Brutal this year, plus three Epsom Handicap winners, two George Main Stakes and wins in the Champagne Stakes and Flight Stakes — all Group 1 races.

So, it should come as no surprise trainer Pat Webster is buoyed by having Boss ride Happy Clapper in the Group 1 $500,000 Colgate Optic White George Main Stakes (1600m) at Royal Randwick.

“I’ve got the Randwick ‘mile’ boys together,’’ Webster said. “They both know how to get around this course, I don’t need to be giving G Boss any advice.’’

Webster has another reason to feel confident — Happy Clapper is going as well as ever into Saturday’s big race.

Happy Clapper wins the Doncaster Mil at Royal Randwick in 2018.
Happy Clapper wins the Doncaster Mil at Royal Randwick in 2018.

“I can’t remember the last time I’ve had ‘The Clapper’ as good as this,’’ Webster said.

“Since his first-up run (second to Samadoubt in the Winx Stakes a month ago), he has really come on. I couldn’t have imagined how much benefit he has taken from that race.’’

Webster gave Happy Clapper a barrier trial between runs with the trainer adamant he couldn’t have his stable star in better condition going into the George Main Stakes.

“The horse’s attitude at trackwork tells you everything,’’ Webster said.

“He’s first on the track every morning at 3.50am because it is so quiet then.

“We still have to put the ear muffs on, norton bit and other things because as soon as you go over his neck, he is like a train.

“He wants to be there, that’s what makes him a such a good racehorse.’’

In latest TAB Fixed Odds betting for the George Main Stakes, Happy Clapper is at $6 behind Avilius at $3.20 favourite with Dreamforce at $4.60.

Samadoubt, winner of the Winx Stakes and Chelmsford Stakes this spring, is next at $7.

Webster said the only negative he can find about Happy Clapper’s chances today is the heavy track conditions.

Happy Clapper has been exposed to heavy going only three times in his 42-start career and, although he hasn’t won, the gelding did run a close second to It’s Somewhat in the 2017 Doncaster Mile.

“We can’t control the weather and we have no option but to run,’’ Webster said.

“He will have a month between this run and the next (Craven Plate) if we decide not to run in the Epsom.

“If we do decide to go to the Epsom, he needs to race today.’’

Webster is banking on Happy Clapper’s penchant for the Randwick 1600m and the horse’s competitive nature to score his 12th win and take his earnings to more than $7 million.

“The way I see it, over the Randwick mile, all the others are vulnerable but he’s not,’’ the trainer said.

“It will come down to the track conditions.

“On a Soft 6 or 7, I’d be very confident of winning.

“But he did run second in a Doncaster on a heavy track so he should get through the conditions.

“Either way, The Clapper won’t let us down, he never does.’’