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Happy Clapper a happy camper

Blinkers have given Happy Clapper a new look this campaign as he heads to go one better in the Doncaster Mile after beating all but Winx in the race a year ago.

The gelding had his final fast gallop for the race on Monday, a strategy Pat Webster employs rather than wait until the following day like many other trainers.

“If they muck up on Monday, it gives you four days to work things out,” Webster said.

“And if they don’t go hard enough on Tuesday you’ve only got Thursday to do it.

“It’s something I learned from my days with Theo Green and it’s stuck with me.”

Webster said the blinkers seemed to be working for Happy Clapper who has had two starts leading into Saturday’s $3 million race for a first-up second under 60.5kg in the National Sprint at Canberra and a dominant victory in the Newcastle Newmarket last Friday week.

“Brenton Avdulla has always said he hits a flat spot around the 700 to 600 metre mark,” Webster said.

“The blinkers have hopefully changed that.

“I couldn’t be happier with him although some might say he’s had a couple of easy runs.

“He was entered for the Canterbury Stakes but the track was very heavy so we went to Canberra instead.

“He’s had two runs on good and slow instead of two runs on heavy and hopefully the weather holds for Saturday.”

Blake Shinn has ridden Happy Clapper in both his starts this campaign and with the six-year-old receiving a 1kg penalty for his Newmarket win and weights to go up without Chautauqua in the race, he will carry 55.5kg, a comfortable weight for his jockey.

Happy Clapper is on the third line of betting with the TAB at $11 with Canterbury Stakes winner Le Romain the $6 favourite.

The barrier draw will be held on Tuesday with Webster hoping for a similar gate to 2016 when Happy Clapper started from eight.

“I would like barrier seven,” he said.

“I have just had it in my head that’s the draw I want.”

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