Web­ster Happy with his sta­ble star

The Sportsman Weekend - - News - By MATT JONES

EVEN Pat Web­ster’s two-yearold grand­daugh­ter Frankie Matilda knows who Happy Clap­per is.

“And by the looks of her he’s paid for some those nice clothes she’s al­ways got on,” Web­ster said.

The two-time Don­caster Mile run­ner-up re­turns in the Group 2 $200,000 Tramway Stakes (1400m) at Rand­wick to­mor­row and Web­ster thinks the seven-year-old’s go­ing to en­joy his come­back to rac­ing.

“I can’t re­mem­ber the last time he ran at Rand­wick on a good track,” he said.

“His goal is the Ep­som but I don’t mind peo­ple back­ing him now be­cause he’s a good fresh horse over 1400m and never runs a bad race.”

Web­ster elected to run Happy Clap­per in two 1000m tri­als as op­posed the pair of 800m tri­als he had be­fore his au­tumn prepa­ra­tion which he de­scribed as “un­suit­able”.

De­spite be­ing at his best over a mile, ex­pect him to be fight­ing out the fin­ish de­spite hav­ing to take on the likes of Ecuador, In­vin­ci­ble Gem and Mack­in­tosh.

“I know at the 200m on Satur­day the caller won’t be say­ing ‘Happy Clap­per’s drop­ping out’, but that he’s com­ing home well,” Web­ster said.

The Rand­wick trainer, who has just six horses, has given Josh Adams the job on his sta­ble star while Blake Shinn rides in Mel­bourne.

Web­ster’s been in­stru­men­tal in get­ting Adams back rid­ing af­ter he was sus­pended for two years from Septem­ber 2014, by Rac­ing NSW for test­ing pos­i­tive to an il­licit sub­stance.

“Peo­ple think I’m putting Josh on be­cause he’s com­ing back from a bad place, but the only rea­son he’s on is be­cause he’s good rider,” Web­ster said.

“You don’t put some­one on your best horse be­cause you feel sorry for them. I’m do­ing what’s the horse and Josh is a gen­uine city rider.”

Adams said he was “very ex­cited” at the prospect of rid­ing such a top horse at a bumper Rand­wick meet­ing.

“It would be huge to win it for Pat, who helped me get my li­cence back,” he said.

“I feel I’m rid­ing as well as ever and a smarter and more cool-headed rider now.

“His two tri­als have been out­stand­ing and he’s for­ward enough to win. From bar­rier two I won’t be dic­tated to and won’t have push him early. I’ll just let him run his race.

“This has come along at a good time for me and is some­thing I re­ally needed so I’m very ex­cited.”

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