Trapeze Artist swings to Black Opal upset

A day after one of trainer Gerald Ryan’s leading two-year-olds failed in a Golden Slipper lead-up race, stablemate Trapeze Artist has announced his arrival with an upset Black Opal Stakes victory.

Jockey Tim Clark’s disappointment with Menari’s fifth in the Todman Stakes run on a sodden Randwick track on Saturday was eased when Trapeze Artist ($31) sailed to a three-length victory in Sunday’s Group Three race at Canberra’s Throughbred Park.

“We were left a little bit flat yesterday after Menari but this bloke’s stood up today and put his hand up,” Clark said.

“It’s funny with these two-year-olds they can just keep improving and pop up.”

Ryan doesn’t like putting blinkers on two-year-olds but making an exception to his rule paid off during Trapeze Artist’s upset Black Opal Stakes win.

“I put blinkers on him between his two trials and it improved the horse out of sight,” Ryan said.

Godolphin colt Trekking flew home late to grab second half a length in front of the Lindsay Park-trained Muraaqeb ($3.80).

Trapeze Artist’s expensive stablemate Chauffeur was sent out the $2.90 favourite but lacked a turn of foot and finished fifth after another tardy start.

“When he came out in the straight he should have finished off,” Ryan said.

“First look watching it live he was a little disappointing.”

While Chauffeur’s $1.6 million price tag has commanded hype, Trapeze Artist was passed in for $250,000 and retained by breeder Bert Viera who races him in partnership with his family.

Trapeze Artist is not entered in the Slipper and with high-class fillies She Will Reign and Houtzen leading the market, the $155,000 late entry may lack appeal.

“I don’t think Bert will be paying the $155,000 because there’s a couple of fillies there that will be very hard to beat but he has a nice horse on his hands,” Ryan said.

The Group One ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) and Champagne Stakes (1600m) are the likely targets for Trapeze Artist.

The colt’s dominant win capped a day to remember for Clark who took out the $200,000 Canberra Cup (2000m) aboard Dark Eyes.

“I thought I had a couple of each-way chances and I was fortunate enough to get the breaks when I needed them,” he said.

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