2015 Villiers Stakes result – Avdulla’s faith in Happy Clapper holds strong

Tom Walter – 12 Dec 2015

Brenton Avdulla went down the road less taken when piloting Pat Webster’s Happy Clapper to a popular victory in the Group II Villiers Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on Saturday.

2015 Villiers Stakes winner Happy Clapper. Photo: Steve Hart

After travelling between horses a touch better than midfield, Avdulla switched to the rails in the home straight, where the ground was deemed to be inferior.

Jockeys had been looking to get off the fence since last Saturday’s meeting which saw the majority of the winners come down the outside section of the track.

The trend was again evident on Villiers Stakes day but such was Avdulla’s confidence in his mount, he ceased upon an inside opening and won the race by three-quarters of a length.

“I was probably in a good spot if I was on another horse but I was in a horrible spot for him – I was in between horses and not getting a lot of room,” Avdulla said.

“I was going to do more damage trying to get out to the better part of the track so I just relied on his class and his light weight to duck back to the inside.

“He got a sniff of them at the furlong and he was never going to get beat. He’s a top class horse.”

Queensland mare Tinto ($26) loomed ominously but was unable to reel in Happy Clapper ($4.80 fav) while Godolphin galloper It’s Somewhat ($13) finished a short neck back in third.

The win added another feature Randwick mile to Avdulla’s resume that includes the 2010 Flight Stakes and 2011 Epsom Handicap with Secret Admirer.

Webster, one of the few small time trainers still operating at Randwick, said Happy Clapper is the best horse to come through his stable.

“I’d have to say he’s the best we’ve had … without a doubt,” he said.

“This horse is a miler and probably more 2000 (metres). I can’t wait to get him over 2000 (metres).

“The vet Chris Sullivan deserves a big rap. He scanned him and has stuck solid. He’s had his injuries.”