Patience Pays For Canberra Owner-Breeder Michael Thomas

Canberra owner-breeder Michael Thomas surely believes in the adage that good things come to those who wait…

Certainly his patience with his homebred star HAPPY CLAPPER has been richly rewarded.

The 7YO Happy Clapper won the G2 Tramway Stakes first-up at Randwick last Saturday for his third victory Stakes level following wins in the G2 Villiers Stakes and G3 Newcastle Newmarket.

Happy Clapper (Teofilo x Busking by Encosta De Lago) has now won eight and placed in eight of his 26 career starts, amassing prize money earnings of $2,348,800 —  not bad for a horse that cost just $13,000 to breed!

“Happy Clapper is actually the fourth generation of horses I’ve bred from,” says  Thomas, a former leading Canberra bookmaker.

“I basically breed to race and have owned quite a few from that family over the years.

“Happy Clapper’s granddam Winifred’s Prayer was a very good mare who had five winners from as many to race, including dual Group winner and Galaxy runner-up Thankgodyou’rehere and Gunfire Messiah, who won 11 races for me.

“I sent Winifred’s Prayer to Encosta de Lago when he was standing for just $7000 and I was talked into selling the resultant filly as a yearling.

“She made $40,000 and won a race and was placed several times in town.

“Her name was Busking and around the time she was retired from racing Darley had been buying up a lot of Encosta mares and she was one of them.

“They sent her to Commands with the first foal going to China. The second by Lonhro won 11 races in Singapore and I think he’s still racing as a 10YO, while the third was another Commands called Gig who won four races and was multiple Group placed.

“I tried to buy Gig at the 2013 August Thoroughbred Sale where she was eventually knocked down for $61,000. Two years later she made $300,000 at the Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale.

“The next foal, by Street Sense, was a winner although he didn’t do much but Darley then decided to cull Busking and offered her for sale. I snapped her up, in foal to Teofilo, for $13,000.

“The foal ended up being Happy Clapper.”

“After Happy Clapper Busking produced ON THE FIDDLE who has won a couple of races for me with Matthew Dale.

“Matthew also has Happy Clapper’s full brother who is one big boy and unlikely to race until he’s at least a 4YO — Busking always did produce big horses.

“I sold her 2YO by Not a Single Doubt 2YO to Ciaron Maher and kept a quarter share while I’ll race her Not a Single Doubt yearling colt myself.

“Busking died on Australia Day this year after a bad bout of colic which leaves me with the one mare Offer It Up, a half-sister to Busking.”

Happy Clapper is trained at Randwick by Pat Webster, one of the most popular figures in Sydney racing.

He now says Happy Clapper has overtaken Ab Initio as his all-time favourite.

“Ab Initio won five Group races in the late 1990s and held the track record at Randwick and I also trained At Sea for a while but I’ve got a real soft spot for Happy Clapper,” Webster says.

Happy Clapper has G1 goals at his next two starts, taking on Winx in the George Main Stakes before the $1 million Epsom Handicap over 1600m at Randwick on September 30.

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