Trapeze Artist has claimed the $2.5 million Group One TJ Smith Stakes at Randwick.
After downing Everest conqueror Redzel in the $2.5 million TJ Smith Stakes, there might only be one more mountain to climb for Trapeze Artist.
The world’s richest race on turf in October was mentioned after the Gerald Ryan-trained colt upstaged Australia’s leading sprinter at Randwick, but life as a stallion beckons.
In the aftermath of Trapeze Artist’s two-length victory, owner Bert Vieira said the three-year-old by Snitzel was nearing the end of his racing career.
He might run in the Group One All Aged Stakes (1400m) at Randwick in a fortnight but Vieira ruled out the second edition of the $13 million Everest.
“I think stud, there’s a lot of money being offered. We’ll go to the stud,” he said on Saturday.
Vieira convinced Ryan to line-up Trapeze Artist against Australia’s leading sprinters a month after the Group One Randwick Guineas (1600m), and now the veteran trainer must come up with a compelling argument.
“I know he’ll probably get a lot of dollars for him but I just hope Bert keeps racing him. It’s the best horse he’s ever had,” Ryan said.
Not content with beating Redzel, Trapeze Artist also eclipsed Black Caviar’s record from 2011 when he clocked 1:08.29.
“I couldn’t be any more excited. Beating Redzel is phenomenal,” Vieira said.
“We thought, ‘Let him go at 200’, and Tye (Angland) did. It was an amazing ride,” Vieira said.
Ryan, who won the TJ Smith Stakes with Melito in 2010, admitted he had his work cut out to prepare Trapeze Artist for an ominous drop back in trip.
“When Bert really twisted my arm about running him I thought I’ll have to pull on all my expertise and what I’ve been taught on how to do it, and it’s worked.”
Trapeze Artist ($8) levelled up to $2.30 favourite Redzel at the 100 and skipped clear.
In Her Time ($4.40) ran a gallant third two lengths off Redzel after missing the start with stand-in jockey Damian Lane, who was a late replacement for an injured Corey Brown.
Redzel co-trainer Peter Snowden was philosophical as he watched a replay.
“The better horse won. I’ll go home and feed him, work him in the morning and go to the beach with him. Nothing changes,” he said.