By Ray Hickson
In-form jockey Tim Clark is content with underdog status on Group 1 winning colt Trapeze Artist ahead of a talent-laden Group 2 $400,000 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill on Saturday.
It seems the Golden Rose winner always manages to fly under the radar, something his trainer Gerald Ryan has mentioned a number of times, and so it will be as boom Godolphin colt Kementari has the mantle of headline act.
Clark, who rode four winners at Randwick last Saturday, said Trapeze Artist has already proven himself at the top level.
“I’m pretty happy to be on him. I wouldn’t say I’d jump off him to ride anything else in the race,’’ Clark said.
“He has the runs on the board, is a dominant Group 1 winner over the track and distance and he will be awfully hard to beat.’’
Kementari was $2.30 favourite on Thursday with TAB with Trapeze Artist second elect at $3.90. The pair have met only once previously and finished alongside each other in the Coolmore Stud Stakes in the spring.
Clark said the colt’s first-up win in the Expressway Stakes (1200m) three weeks ago felt as good as it looked, Punters Intel data had his last 600m at 34.57, and there was improvement in him.
“He felt strong, he’s a lovely big colt and he was dominant first-up,’’ he said.
Trapeze Artist easily wins the Expressway Stakes at Rosehill on February 3.
“He tends to improve with racing so for him to do that first-up against that opposition is a very good sign.
“There didn’t look a heap of speed in this race. I thought myself and Siege Of Quebec were the main go forward horses. He’s drawn nicely so he can sit back off them if they go quick or be right there if they don’t.’’
Most of the Hobartville field is headed to the Group 1 Randwick Guineas (1600m) on March 10 and Clark pointed out two of Trapeze Artist’s biggest wins have been third-up from a break.
Clark has the job of warming the saddle on Magic Millions winner Sunlight in the Group 2 $250,000 Silver Slipper Stakes (1100m) and after a spin around Warwick Farm on Wednesday he’s looking forward to the race day experience.
He said the work, wide out on the course proper, was pleasing and he expects her to be a lot sharper come this weekend.
“She’s going to improve after Saturday but she’s pretty forward,’’ he said.
“I’d say Tony (McEvoy) would be extremely happy with how she looks, she’s definitely forward enough to win.’’
Tactics will play a big part in the Silver Slipper and Clark said, after discussing the horse with McEvoy, he’s going to keep it very simple.
“She’s a free running type, it’s pretty easy really she’ll just jump and run,’’ he said.
“If Brenton (Avdulla on Estijaab) kicks up on the inside and wants to lead that’s okay. I won’t be dragging her back to ride her cute because that brought about her undoing at her first start.’’
Estijaab ($2.60) replaced Sunlight as favourite ($2.80) for the Silver Slipper late on Wednesday but it’s a different story in the TAB Golden Slipper market with Sunlight the $6 favourite and Estijaab at $10.