Doncaster Mile winner Happy Clapper could be aimed at the $13 million Everest.
Now that Happy Clapper has raced himself out of handicaps, trainer Pat Webster is keen to target a different sort of race, preferably a $13 million one.
The popular gelding won Saturday’s Doncaster Mile after running second for the previous two years, this time carrying 57kg to record his third Group One win of the season.
Webster believes the $13 million Everest (1200m) in October is a realistic target given Happy Clapper’s first-up win in the Group One Canterbury Stakes (1300m) in March in a track record 1:14.25.
“Why wouldn’t we go for the Everest,” Webster said.
“We would do the same as we did this autumn and give him one trial and then go in first-up like we did in the Canterbury Stakes.”
And Webster and owner Michael Thomas are hoping The Star, which sponsors the Doncaster, might come to the party.
The Star’s slot in the inaugural running of the Everest last year was taken by Redkirk Warrior but senior Lindsay Park trainer David Hayes has said the straight-track specialist is unlikely to come to Randwick again.
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Hayes opted not to run Redkirk Warrior in Saturday’s TJ Smith Stakes won by Golden Rose winning-three-year-old Trapeze Artist who upset 2017 Everest winner Redzel.
Whether Trapeze Artist heads to The Everest will be determined by his owner Bert Vieira who is now in discussions with studs with several expressing interest in standing the dual Group One-winning son of champion Snitzel.
“It will be up to the Vieira group but it has been pointed out to me his stud value will be the same whether he wins the Everest or any more Group Ones,” trainer Gerald Ryan said.
“He has won two and is already in demand.”
Ryan said there was still the possibility Trapeze Artist would run in the All Aged Stakes (1400m) on April 21.
Happy Clapper will head to Saturday’s Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) and another encounter with Winx before both are spelled.
Happy Clapper’s Doncaster was the fastest run in 1:33.17 and the same time he recorded to win the Epsom Handicap in September..