Nine-year-old Happy Clapper can add to his retirement fund if he can grab the major portion of the prizemoney in the Group 2 $250,000 Apollo Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on Saturday.
The veteran galloper can’t go on forever but already has built up a handy bank with over $7 million in the account courtesy of three Group 1 wins included in his twelve victories from forty-four starts and trainer Pat Webster hinted that when his stable star retires, he might too.
“I’ve just taken on an apprentice, Brandon Griffiths, so I guess retirement is off for the moment,” Webster told AAP.
“He is a good rider and I’m keen to see him up and going well.
“He was at Hawkesbury but he has moved to Randwick to give it a go in town and I want to help him do that.”
But for the moment it is business as usual and Happy Clapper is primed to commence another Sydney Autumn Carnival campaign in Saturday’s weight for age Apollo Stakes on a rain affected track.
“He will run,” Webster said.
“I’m not keen on him having a hard run first-up in the wet but he has to start in the Apollo because it fits in with his program going ahead to the Chipping Norton.
“He is fit and well and his two trials have been good so I think he’s ready to go.”
Happy Clapper was spelled after winning the Group 3 $500,000 Yulong Australia Craven Plate (2000m) at Randwick on October 19 and has had the benefit of two Randwick barrier trials in preparation for his return to the race track.
The Randwick track for the Apollo Stakes race day was rated a Heavy 8 on Tuesday with more rain expected in the Sydney region in the lead up to the weekend.
Happy Clapper chased home super star mare Winx when runner up in last year’s Apollo Stakes and in the Group 1 $600,000 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Randwick and the evergreen war horse has to be given a good chance of going one better in one or both of the weight for age contests.
Happy Clapper might be the sentimental favourite for the Apollo Stakes, but the bookies have him sharing the second line of betting at $5 with the Group 1 winning ex-Kiwi mare Verry Elleegant and John Thompson’s Dreamforce behind the James Cummings trained Alizee who sits at the top of the early market at $3.20.