Happy Clapper pleases in barrier trial at Randwick
For the first time in three years, trainer Pat Webster has jockey Hugh Bowman in his corner rather than the opposite side of the fence.
Bowman has been the regular rider of Winx, Webster’s stable star Happy Clapper’s nemesis along with every horse she raced against.
On Tuesday morning Bowman jumped aboard Happy Clapper in a Randwick barrier trial as he begins a spring campaign while Winx gets ready for motherhood.
Triple Group One winner Happy Clapper was not asked to do much in the 900m-heat on the course proper, finishing off as Webster wanted.
“I’ve known Hugh since he was an apprentice at Bathurst and it’s good to have him on my side,” Webster said.
“The Clapper is good. He did what I wanted to see.
‘The thing with him now is to just make sure he comes through with no problems and he is fine.”
Webster said Happy Clapper would trial again on August 12 and resume in the Winx Stakes at Randwick on August 24.
“At least she’s not there to win it this time,” he said.
Formerly known as the Warwick Stakes, the Winx Stakes (1400m) was renamed to honour the champion last year and elevated to Group One status.
Happy Clapper’s heat was won by Dawn Passage from Libertini with Happy Clapper in a cluster behind.
The other trial on the course proper featured star Godolphin mare Alizee who comfortably beat Con Te Partiro.
Alizee is among the leading contenders for the $14 million Everest and is scheduled to resume in the Missile Stakles (1200m) at Rosehill on August 10.
She was also ridden by Bowman.