By Ray Hickson
At Royal Randwick
The Everest, Royal Ascot or stallion duties?
That’s the dilemma facing owner Bert Vieira after crack colt Trapeze Artist upset the reigning Everest champ Redzel in the Groupl 1 $2.5m Darley TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick.
The three-year-old did it the hard way too, racing wide, but it didn’t matter as he put paid to Redzel 100m out and surged away, breaking Black Caviar’s race record in the process.
Trainer Gerald Ryan has always talked up Trapeze Artist, seemingly always the underdog, and the colt added a Group 1 weight-for-age win to his Golden Rose victory last spring.
Straight after the TJ Smith, TAB installed Trapeze Artist second favourite at $8 for the $13 million The Everest (1200m) on October 13 – now it’s up to Ryan to convince Vieira to not follow the trend of early retirements and allow the colt to race on at four.
Trapeze Artist storms away to win the Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes at Royal Randwick
“I think they might be knocking on the door for him to go to stud,’’ Ryan said.
“I just hope Bert keeps racing him, he’s the best horse he’s ever had. I hope he loves racing him as much as I do.’’
Ryan won the TJ in 2010 with Melito and his sprinter Deploy contested the inaugural Everest last spring.
He admitted he wasn’t super confident that he could freshen Trapeze Artist from his third in the Randwick Guineas over the mile last month.
“Last Friday morning he worked pretty well for him but the same maiden I worked with him first up on Tuesday beat him,’’ he said.
“I thought we were going to be strong. At the 200m I was looking back for English and In Her Time who were swooping like we were but once we got momentum, he just keeps going strong like the Golden Rose.
“You get a fast run race up front, I know he was covering ground but he seems to appreciate that as he gets into his action.”
Punters Intel showed Trapeze Artist covered an extra 7.4m and ran easily the fastest last 600m, in 33.33, with a last 200m of 11.35.
For jockey Tye Angland it was some consolation after being beaten a nose in the Australian Derby on Ace High some 40 minutes earlier.
“The race before was a bit deflating for me, we tried on the course and we tried in the Stewards room but it didn’t work out,’’ he said.
“He has got a big future this horse, he is only a three-year-old he has just beaten probably our best sprinter in Australia and that was exciting.
“Coming up the rise there, having Redzel in our sights being able to pick him up and put him away, that feels so good.”
— The Championships (@ChampionshipsRR) April 7, 2018
On the way back down the tunnel, Angland stopped to offer an ‘I’m sorry’ to Redzel’s trainer Peter Snowden for bringing down the star sprinter.
Snowden offered no excuses for Redzel other than a slight regret at not getting a strong 1100m run under his belt leading into the race.
Redzel appeared to be gifted the lead when Global Glamour wasn’t able to muster and cross while Jungle Edge punched up between them. He kicked away but had no answer to Trapeze Artist while In Her Time ran on strongly into third from last after giving away far too much start.
“I said it five times through the week I don’t normally go 1000m,1000m into a 1200m and it seemed he sat down the last 40m,’’ Snowden said.
“The winner was out three deep and the better horse won on the day, simple as that.’’