Happy Clapper heads Newcastle Newmarket Handicap acceptances

DONCASTER-BOUND: Sense Of Occasion. Picture: bradleyphotos.com.au

DONCASTER-BOUND: Sense Of Occasion. Picture: bradleyphotos.com.au

KRIS Lees will trial Sense Of Occasion at Wyong next week after sticking with plans on Wednesday to run the gelding first up in the April 1 Doncaster Mile.

Sense Of Occasion was the best local hope in nominations for Friday’s group 3 Newcastle Newmarket Handicap (1400 metres) but was not among 11 acceptances on Wednesday. Lees had already declared plans to not race the Villiers Stakes champion again before the $3 million Doncaster but he was set to trial him at Randwick on Thursday. However, Lees said uncertainty over the rain-hit Randwick trials prompted him to instead book Sense Of Occasion in for Wyong next Wednesday.

Pat Webster’s Happy Clapper, which drew barrier seven, appears the horse to beat in the $150,000 Newmarket. Other visitors accepting were John O'Shea’s Chetwood (10), Chris Waller’s Vanbrugh (6) and Marenostro (11) Peter and Paul Snowden’s Snippets Land (2), Jason Attard’s Sons Of John (1) and Kellyville Flyer (8) and Desleigh Forster’s Too Good To Refuse (5).

Paul Perry’s Wouldn’t It Be Nice (4), Jay Hopkins’ Got Unders (9) and Steve Hodge’s Lucky Ima Cugat (3) will be outsiders carrying local hopes.

Meanwhile, a ninth race was added to the Newmarket program after Wednesday’s Gosford meeting was washed out.

However, Gosford’s Provincial Championships qualifier will be held as part of the Golden Slipper meeting at Rosehill on Saturday.

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