While Winx has been all the talk after her barrier trial win at Randwick, Happy Clapper has put in an eye-catching performance to finish third, less than a length from the mare.
And as far as trainer Pat Webster is concerned, Tuesday’s trial will be the last time Happy Clapper has to see the back end of Winx this spring.
The gelding, who has finished behind Winx four times, including when second in the 2016 Doncaster Mile, will begin his campaign in next month’s Group One Memsie Stakes in Melbourne with a second tilt at a Cox Plate unlikely.
Last year, Happy Clapper finished sixth in the weight-for-age championship, 11 lengths behind the mare who won her second.
“I’ve nominated him today for the Cox Plate but the plan is the Epsom Handicap,” Webster said.
“I think she’s unbeatable at Moonee Valley the way she comes off the turn.
“He will have another barrier trial on the 21st and we’ll know more then but the Memsie is worth a million dollars now so that’s a target.”
Blake Shinn rode Happy Clapper in his autumn campaign in which he again finished second in the Doncaster, but was committed to the Peter and Paul Snowden-trained Pariah in Tuesday’s trial.
The colt finished strongly behind Winx to edge Happy Clapper out of second place.
Pariah, second in the Blue Diamond Stakes to Catchy who trialled well at Cranbourne on Tuesday, will have his first start as a three-year-old in the Group Three San Domenico Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill on August 26.