Best Odds with Top Tote+ and Bet Back Offers!
Register at Australia's #1 Online Bookmaker!
Back A Winner!
Sign-Up to Australia's Fastest Growing Online Bookmaker!
Back Yourself!
Sign-up and start betting with Ladbrokes in 2 minutes!
Watch Live Racing FREE!
Sign-up now and Watch every Race Live and Free on your Phone!
Best Of The Best Odds!
Bet With Palmerbet and get Paid Top Fluc or Top Tote!
*Conditions Apply. Excl VIC, NSW, SA & WA. Gamble Responsibly
Image: Steve Hart
Pat Webster admits to a few nerves over the return of Happy Clapper

For the first time in four years, Winx will not be at Randwick for the traditional start to the Sydney spring carnival.

What was formerly the Group Two Warwick Stakes is now named for the champion, who won it three times, and kicks off Group One racing for the season.

Few will feel her absence more acutely than trainer Pat Webster who has watched his stable star Happy Clapper finish in the slipstream of Winx 11 times over the past three-and-a-half years and does not know how the racing landscape will look without the superstar.

He fears Happy Clapper won’t either.

“He might get lost not being able to follow her. He might be going ‘where is she’?” Webster said.

“I wish she would have retired two years ago, we would have had another three or four Group Ones.”

Jokes aside, Webster admits to a few nerves over the return of Happy Clapper who fittingly resumes in the Winx Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on Saturday.

He recognises the nine-year-old is nudging ever closer to the end of his career and is vigilantly searching for signs the horse has had enough.

He thought he might have found one when Happy Clapper trialled below expectations recently, but with the benefit of hindsight figured the gelding was probably just wily enough to recognise it wasn’t race day.

“In my mind there’s probably a cloud there with him being nine, but to be honest, he looks as good as he’s ever looked at this stage of his prep and at this time of the year,” Webster said.

“As a matter of fact, he looks better. Even Hugh Bowman said at the trials, ‘mate, how good does he look’.

“Look at old Hartnell, that gives you hope. He ran a terrific race the other day against the Tasmanian mare (Mystic Journey) and he’s nine.”

Happy Clapper will have blinkers back on in the Winx Stakes, replacing winkers.

He will need to be on his game with the race attracting a star-studded field, among them Godolphin gun Avilius and a quartet of trainer Chris Waller’s elite including Australian Oaks winner Verry Elleegant.

Just as Happy Clapper is closer to the end of his career than the beginning, the same is also true of his trainer.

Webster, whose autobiography ‘Don’t Die Wondering’ will be published in November, is an elder statesman of the sport and one of racing’s best-loved characters.

But while Happy Clapper is still going strong, retirement is not on his trainer’s mind.

“I live for the day, not tomorrow so I don’t make those decisions, I just see what happens,” he said.

“But I’m not buying any green bananas or long-play records either.

“After you’ve had a horse like Clapper, it’s hard to come back down but who knows? We’ve only got five or six (horses) but there might be another Clapper there.”

 
*Existing customers only. 2nd Racing bet. Excl SA & WA. T’s & C’s apply. Gamble responsibly.
Featured News

Free Racing Bonus Bets and Offers

We take a look at the BIGGEST and BEST Free Daily Racing Offers and Betting Promotions from Australia’s leading online...

Watch 📺 Black Caviar’s daughter a flop at Pakenham

Black Caviar’s daughter Ready For Caviar was having her second career start at Pakenham on Monday but she could only...

Black Caviar’s next date announced

Champion mare Black Caviar has been booked for her next mate. Black Caviar has been booked to be covered by...

Star country galloper dies from foot injury

Artlee – winner of the inaugural 2015 Country Championships at Royal Randwick – has passed away. Part-owner Peter Rogers informed...

Racing to continue during Victoria’s stage 4 restrictions

Racing in Victoria is set to continue during the states stage four restrictions. The industry will breath a sigh of...

Punter lands $97,807 racing multi bet

A punter with the TAB has landed a massive collect on todays racing after their five leg racing multi saluted...

Watch: Queensland jockey suspended for two months

Jockey Chris Whiteley has received a two-month suspension for his ride on short-priced favourite Silent Explorer at Cairns last month....

Andrew Adkins to undergo surgery after horror fall

Jockey Andrew Adkins has been taken to Westmead Hospital following a sickening fall that has marred the opening race at...

Viridine wins the G3 Bletchingly Stakes

A rails-hugging ride from champion jockey Damien Oliver has helped favourite Viridine to a determined victory in Melbourne’s final stakes...

Alligator Blood stripped of $2m Magic Millions Guineas win

Top Queensland galloper Alligator Blood was disqualified and his trainer David Vandyke received a $20,000 fine after a prohibited substance...

Watch: Jockeys whip gets caught in horses tail

It could be the weirdest occurrences during a race we have seen this season when Tommy Berry’s whip got caught...

Watch: Horse runs over a snake and wins

Only in Australia does a horse run over a snake on their way to win a race. 2YO filly Kotabharu...

Watch: Bryce Stanaway galloper breaks 1270 day drought

A notable character of the turf Bryce Stanaway has shown that persistency can pay off when Ventura Highway broke a...

Victorian stables in lockdown over stangles

Three Victorian stables have been forced into lockdown after a horse at Moonee Valley raced with strangles. The Danielle Loos...

Multiple G1 winner dies from heart attack

A multiple Group One winning galloper has died suddenly this morning following a heart attack. The two time G1 winner...

Sydney wants to host the Melbourne Cup

The Deputy Premier of NSW John Barilaro has his sights on this years Melbourne Cup with the iconic race listed...

Victorian horses banned from NSW

Racing NSW has banned horses trained in Victoria from taking part in races in the northern state for an indefinite...

Australian Bookmaker Reviews

Which bookmaker should you bet with? We Review each of the leading online Australian Bookmakers and rate them in order...

 
 
Copyright © 2020 Just Horse Racing.
All rights reserved - Privacy Policy

Gamble Responsibly 18+
*State exclusions apply to some offers. Please check T&Cs of each offer with the bookmaker. All Offers Exclude NSW residents.