As the winner of the Villiers Stakes, Happy Clapper is guaranteed a start in the Doncaster Mile.
To get him there while protecting his 50.5kg handicap, trainer Pat Webster will run him in two weight-for-age races starting with Saturday’s Canterbury Stakes (1300m) at Randwick.
While the five-year-old has never raced at weight-for-age before, Webster is also keen to try him with a view to the future.
And although there were just eight nominations taken on Monday for the Group One sprint, the trainer acknowledges the quality is high.
“It will be a very tough race,” Webster said.
“But I’m happy with him and I was happy with his trial.
“The plan is to run on Saturday and then go to the George Ryder where he’ll probably have to take on Winx but I want to see how he goes at weight-for-age.
“I think he will cope. And then after he’s carried 59 kilos in both those races he drops to 50-1/2 in the Doncaster.
“Light weights are what win handicaps at Randwick.”
The eight Canterbury Stakes entries are headed by Group One winners Criterion, Kermadec and First Seal.
But they will have to catch short-course specialist Our Boy Malachi.
The winner of 18 of his 22 starts, Our Boy Malachi has run in two Group One races since joining Hawkes Racing from north Queensland.
He ran third in last year’s BTC Sprint then suffered a bleeding attack during the Doomben 10,000.
That was not the end of his troubles with the gelding then brought down by colic.
He showed no signs of any problems when he returned to lead all the way in the Group Two Expressway Stakes, beating Solicit by three lengths.
Solicit franked the form with her second to Winx in the Apollo Stakes before her win in Saturday’s Group Two Guy Walter Stakes.
Our Boy Malachi was given an easy time when fourth in a barrier trial at Rosehill on Monday morning to tune him up for his Group One assignment.
He is the $2.80 equal favourite with First Seal in the TAB’s opening markets.