Trapeze Artist upsets balance in one fell swoop
IN a training masterstroke, Gerald Ryan has brought Trapeze Artist back from a defeat in a mile race to beat the nation's best sprinter Redzel at Royal Randwick.
The result of the Group 1 $2.5 million Darley T.J. Smith Stakes (1200m) was in keeping with the theme for Day One of The Championships - two-horse duels, exciting finishes, upset results.
But all credit to Ryan who was able to freshen Trapeze Artist after his third in the Randwick Guineas (1600m) a month ago and have his colt sharp enough to outsprint the brilliant Redzel.
"I've had a lot of faith in this colt,'' Ryan said.
"His owner, Bert (Vieira) really twisted my arm about running him today and I thought about how I was going to freshen him up in a month.
"Last Friday morning he worked pretty well for him because he is not a flash trackworker but I started to worry when maiden I worked with him was beaten first-up on Tuesday.''
But Ryan need not have worried as Trapeze Artist ($8) again showed he saves his best for raceday scoring by two lengths from Redzel ($2.30 favourite) with the unlucky In Her Time ($4.40) two lengths again third.
Trapeze Artist ran the Randwick 1200m in a stunning 1min8.29sec, shattering the legendary Black Caviar's race record of 1min8.71sec set in 2011.
"I thought we were going to be strong late,'' Ryan said. "He had a nice run but at about the 200m I was looking back for English and In Her Time who were swooping like we were.
"But once this colt gets his momentum, he just keeps going strong like he did in the Golden Rose.
"This was a fast run race upfront and I know he was covering ground but he seems to appreciate that as he gets into his action."
It was also a moment to savour for winning jockey Tye Angland who only 40 minutes earlier suffered an agonisingly close defeat on Ace High in the ATC Australian Derby.
"I was very deflated after the Derby but that's racing and you have to bounce back,'' Angland said. "Gerald is an incredible trainer and we have a little joke that I only ride Group 1 winners for him and here is another one.''
Trapeze Artist was three-wide but with cover and Angland said he started to grow in confidence when he took his colt even wider on the home turn.
"Coming up the rise there, we had Redzel in our sights then being able to pick him up and put him away, that feels so good,'' Angland said.
"He has got a big future this horse, he is only a three-year-old but he has just beaten probably our best sprinter in Australia.''
Kerrin McEvoy, rider of Redzel, wasn't offering any excuses in defeat.
McEvoy rated Redzel superbly in front and The Everest hero looked set to win another sprinting major when he kicked clear over the rise only for the stalking Trapeze Artist to run him down inside the final 100m.
"Redzel has run a great race and was gallant in defeat,'' McEvoy said.
"He travelled nicely throughout and gave his customary kick at the furlong, unfortunately Trapeze Artist, who is a smart horse in his own right, just went on by me.
"It is disappointing to get beaten but he's run well.''
In Her Time got a lot further back than expected early and then ran into some traffic problems at the top of the straight.
Damian Lane, who won the ATC Sires Produce Stakes earlier in the day and was the replacement rider for the injured Corey Brown on In Her Time, blamed himself for the mare's defeat.
"She has run massive but it was a very badly judged ride,'' Lane admitted.
"I just didn't show enough urgency on her in the early stages and ended up back in an impossible position. She has still hit the line really well."
Le Romain also ran a pleasing race for fourth while The Mission caught the eye with his fast finishing fifth.
TAB BIG BETS
Pacquirri ($34-$51) was largely ignored by punters and caused a huge upset in the Widden Kindergarten Stakes (1100m).
Only rank outsider Mandalong Emperor ($401) held less money than the Gary Moore-trained runner who was ridden to victory by Andrew Adkins.
Legend Of Condor ($5-$4.60) ran right up to the support he attracted today to finish second while Lean Mean Machine, the biggest firmer in the race, filled third. Lean Mean Machine had been $5.50 this morning but was hammered in betting and started a $3.80 favourite.
The market didn't like Enbihaar who drifted alarmingly from $2.50 out to $5.50 and ran accordingly.
BETS: Lean Mean Machine $1000 @ $5.50, $2500 e/w @ $5/$1.75, $2000 @ $5, $10,000 @ $1.70 PLACE
Muraaqeb ($23) didn't have a great deal of backing here but attracted a specking of each way support.
Dissolution ($10) held slightly more money than the winner while the very popular Holy Snow ($4.20) once again caught the eye of TAB customers and was easily the best supported runner. Holy Snow held more than three times the amount of money than any other horse with Assimilate ($$5.50-$6-$4.60) being the next best supported.
BETS: Assimilate $2500 @ $6
BETS: Holy Snow $3000 @ $4.20
Favourite backers came up empty once again, this time in the PJ Bell Stakes (1200 metres), with Houtzen landing some nice bets.
While the Queenslander was specked from $11 in the morning to $8.50 at the jump, most of the money in this race sat with Shes So High ($4.20-$3.50) backed into favouritism after holding nearly 33 per cent of all bets on the race.
Manicure ($21) and Problem Solver ($16) filled the minors in front of Demerara ($3.70-$6) which started the day as favourite but drifted.
Of the others, Catchy ($7-$8.50) was once again popular with TAB customers and held the most money outside Shes So High.
BETS: Houtzen $1000 @ $8.50, $1000 @ $8 TWICE
BETS: Shes So High $2000 @ $3.50
Victorem was the most notable firmer in the race and did the right thing by its backers by taking out the Newhaven Country Championship Final (1400m).
Rider Ben Looker ducked back to the inside in the home straight with the Jenny Graham-trained runner doing the rest, finishing too strong for the race favourite Dont Give A Damn ($4.40-$3.80) and O'So Hazy ($51).
Victorem opened the day as a $5.50 chance but was $7 when the field and draws were finalised on Wednesday. Today, he was backed into $4.60 to start second favourite in the 16-horse field.
Suncraze, although drifting from $4.20 out to $7, was the best backed outside runner in terms of money held outside the fav.
BETS: Victorem $3000 @ $4.80
They knew what they were doing in the Schweppes Chairman's Quality (2600m) with Kiwi visitor Sir Charles Road landing a nice betting move.
He began the day as a $15 chance and was quickly backed into $12, however, constant specking throughout the day saw the Lance O'Sullivan & Andrew Scott-trained runner jump as a $6.50 chance.
Jockey Blake Shinn got the best out of Sir Charles Road as he held off Ventura Storm ($10-$12) in a great finish, with Peribsen ($7.50-$10) grabbing the minor end of the prize in front of Ormito.
Alward actually went around as the most popular runner with 44 per cent of the total investment riding with him.
BETS: Sir Charles Road $1,500 @ $15, $1500 @ $11
BETS: Alward $10,000 @ $2.05 PLACE
BETS: Ormito $3000 @ $11
El Dorado Dreaming ($151) destroyed TAB customers in this one with a huge upset in the Inglis Sires (1400m).
The Benjamin Smith-trained runner was the least favoured runner in the field along with Affogato ($401), but it finished best down the centre of the Randwick straight to defeat the heavily tried Oohood ($3.60-$2.90-$3.30).
Outrageous ($21-$61) finished third but it was Oohood that carried the most money in the race, accounting for just under 40 per cent of the total investment. Of the others, Seabrook ($5) was easily the best tried and was twice as popular as the next best in Long Leaf ($$-$11-$10).
Tchaikovsky ($8.50-$5.50) was a big firm up throughout the week after $13 was offered after the barrier draw earlier in the week.
BETS: Oohood $2290 @ $3.30, $2000 @ $3.30, $3400 @ $3.20, $3000 @ $3
BETS: Long Leaf $1000 @ $11 TWICE
BETS: Bondi $8000 @ $14
Levendi ($12-$6.50) landed a nice move to upset the favourite Ace High in a thrilling finish to the ATC Derby (2400m).
The Peter Gelagotis-trained runner was a notable firmer throughout the day and attracted some nice investments, however, he held only a 10th of the money that Ace High did.
Ace High hit a high of $6 at one stage in betting but was backed into $4.80, commanding 40 per cent of the total investment on the Derby.
Tangled ($16-$31) blew out badly in the final 10 minutes of betting but ran on to grab the minor end of the prize.
Of the others, Furore ($7.50-$5) was clearly the best tried to knock off Ace High and held half the money that he did, while there was a push for Mongolianconqueror earlier in the day from $13 into $9, however, that dried out and he started at $13.
BETS: Levendi $1000 @ $11, Ace High $2000 @ $5 MULTIPLE TIMES, $10,000 @ $4.80
Trapeze Artist ($14-$8) was the subject of a serious betting move 20 minutes prior to the jump and it proved to be the right move in the TJ Smith Stakes (1200m).
The Golden Rose winner charged down the centre of the track despite being wide for most of the trip, gunning down the hot favourite Redzel ($2.40) in the shadows of the post.
In Her Time ($3.90-$4.60) rattled home for third just in front of Le Romain ($51).
Redzel went around as one of the most popular runners throughout the country, holding a whopping 66 per cent of the total investment on the race.
BETS: Trapeze Artist $2000 @ $10
BETS: Redzel $16,380 @ $2.50, $9000 2 $2.50, $5000 @ $2.50, $4000 @ $2.40, $3000 @ $2.40 MULTIPLE TIMES, $30,000 @ $1.28 PLACE
BETS: Brave Smash $5000 @ $6.50
Happy Clapper ($5) was rock solid in betting and one of the best supported runners in The Star Doncaster Mile (1600m).
Although Kementari ($3.20) went out as a clear top pick with TAB customers, he held roughly 35 per cent of all bets on the race, Happy Clapper barely moved from his price after Tuesday's barrier draw. In fact, best price available today was $5.50.
Pat Webster's stable star hugged the rails with Blake Shinn getting everything out of the son of Teofilo to land the money over Comin Through ($19) and Arbeitsam ($26).
Happy Clapper was responsible for nearly a quarter of all bets on the race. Of the others, Humidor ($9-$13) had his fair share of support while D'argento ($7-$9) was a noted drifter in the afternoon.
BETS: Happy Clapper $3000 @ $5.50, $2500 @ $5.50, $1700 @ $5.50, $4000 @ $5
BETS: Kementari $10,000 @ $3.30, $7500 @ $3.30, $10,000 @ $3.20, $8000 @ $3.20
Luvaluva ($3.20-$5.50) defied the betting drift to win the TAB Adrian Knox Stakes (2000m).
The John Sargent-trained filly sat wide for a good portion of the race and proved too strong for Pretty To Sea and Chilly Cha Cha.
Luvaluva still went around as the most popular runner in terms of money held, accounting for 36 per cent of the total investment.
Harmattan, which wound up fourth, was a good go ever since the market opened on Wednesday. At that stage, Harmattan was $5.50 but she backed in to $2.45 favourite.
BETS: Luvaluva $5000 @ $5, $2000 @ $5