Happy days as popular Clapper captures Doncaster Mile
Randwick: The Star Doncaster Mile (Group 1, h'cap) | 1m, 3yo+
Winx might be the best horse in the country but there is no doubt she is being challenged in the popularity stakes by Happy Clapper (Pat Webster/Blake Shinn), who won the Doncaster Mile after finishing second in it twice.
The second favourite, Happy Clapper travelled sweetly while favourite Kementari started well but was shuffled back as Arbeitsam and Tom Melbourne moved forward.
As the field straightened, Shinn drove Happy Clapper along the fence and the big gelding gave a kick, holding off Comin' Through by two lengths, with Arbeitsam another half-neck third.
"That's amazing. I've just won a Doncaster," Shinn said. "I have watched this race for so many years growing up and I've finally won it and on the people's champ, 'The Clapper'.
"To win a Doncaster and put my name in the history books with this horse, who deserves it, is very special. He is so brave, this horse. He's honest, he's tenacious and tough."
Webster said all being well, Happy Clapper would line up again next week to take on Winx in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
"It's A$570,000 for running second. Why wouldn't he go there?" he said.
Also on Saturday
Randwick: Darley TJ Smith Stakes (Group 1) | 6f, 2yo+
After downing Everest conqueror Redzel in the A$2.5 million TJ Smith Stakes, there might only be one more mountain to climb for Trapeze Artist (Gerald Ryan/Tye Angland).
In the aftermath of Trapeze Artist's two-length victory, owner Bert Vieira said the three-year-old by Snitzel was nearing the end of his racing career.
He might run in the Group 1 All Aged Stakes at Randwick in a fortnight but Vieira ruled out the second edition of the A$13 million Everest.
"I think stud – there's a lot of money being offered – we'll go to stud," he said.
Vieira convinced Ryan to line-up Trapeze Artist against Australia's leading sprinters a month after the Group 1 Randwick Guineas, and now the veteran trainer must come up with a compelling argument.
"I know he'll probably get a lot of dollars for him but I just hope Bert keeps racing him. It's the best horse he's ever had," Ryan said.
Redzel co-trainer Peter Snowden said: "The better horse won. I'll go home and feed him, work him in the morning and go to the beach with him. Nothing changes."
Randwick: Harrolds Australian Derby (Group 1) | 1m4f, 3yo
Levendi (Peter Gelagotis/Mark Zahra) won a dramatic Australian Derby, claiming the race by a nose from Ace High and having it reinforced by stewards after a protest.
"We've all started from humble beginnings and you get given opportunities in life when you've got the guts and determination to take them," Gelagotis said.
Randwick: Inglis Sires' (Group 1) | 7f, 2yo
El Dorado Dreaming (Ben Smith/Damian Lane) unleashed a giant-killing burst down the outside to nail Golden Slipper runner-up Oohood in the A$1 million Sires' Produce Stakes at 80-1.
The Group 1 Champagne Stakes over a mile is the usual progression from the Sires' and trainer Ben Smith would not rule it out.
"The way she ran today I'm sure she'll be up to it and she won't be 100-1," he said.