Trainer Gerald Ryan said that connections of Trapeze Artist are unlikely to pay the late entry fee for the Golden Slipper even though the Snitzel colt scored a comfortable win in the Group 3 $300,000 Mercedes-Benz Canberra Black Opal Stakes (1200m) at Canberra on Sunday.
Trapeze Artist is not among the nominations for the Group 1 $3.5m Longines Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill on March 18 and was sent out as one of the outsiders of the field in the Black Opal Stakes but proved way too strong in the run to the line with a three lengths margin to the second horse Trekking ($5) with a further half a length to third placegetter Muraaqeb ($3.80).
The winner’s stablemate and $2.90 favourite Chauffeur was disappointing and finished fifth, four and a quarter lengths in arrears.
If connections wanted to start Trapeze Artist in the Golden Slipper they would have to part with the late entry fee of $155,000 and Ryan said that the colt would be aimed towards the Group 1 $1m Inglis Sires’ (1400m) at Randwick on April 1, day one of ‘The Championships’.
“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.
Trapeze Artist scored on debut win a 2yo Maiden on the Beaumont track at Newcastle on February 4 followed by a fourth in 1200m 2yo Handicap at Randwick February and Ryan said the addition of blinkers to the colt was the reason for his vast improvement.
“I put blinkers on him between his two trials and it improved the horse out of sight,” Ryan said.
While Ryan was thrilled to see Trapeze Artist back in the winner’s stall in great style, he was also disappointing with the effort of one of his main Golden Slipper hopes Chauffeur who failed to run on in the straight in the Black Opal Stakes.
“When he came out in the straight he should have finished off,” Ryan said.
“First look watching it live he was a little disappointing.”
Ryan also had to cope with the unplaced effort of his other Golden Slipper fancy Menari who finished five and three quarter lengths behind Gunnison when fifth in the Group 2 $300,000 UNSW Todman Stakes (1200m) at Randwick last Saturday after being sent out as the $2.30 favourite.
But Chauffeur and Menari are still in contention for the Golden Slipper with both colts marked at $15 with Ladbrokes.com.au.
The Gary Portelli trained She Will Reign remains at the top of the Golden Slipper market order at $3.60 even after suffering her first defeat when second to Frolic in the Group 2 $300,000 Affinity Shopping Reisling Stakes (1200m) at Randwick last Saturday.
Queensland filly Houtzen is challenging Gary Portelli’s smart filly for favouritism and the Magic Millions 2yo Classic winner in the second pick at $4.40.
Early market order for the Golden Slipper at Ladbrokes.com.au: $3.60 She Will Reign, $4.40 Houtzen, $11 Catchy, Frolic, $13 Pariah, $15 Gunnison, Menari, Chauffeur, Trekking, $17 Invader, Muraaqeb, $21 Veranillo, Limbo Soul, $26 Formality, Jorda, Astoria, Condor Heroes, Serena Bay, Single Bullet, Tulip, Vinland, $34 or better the rest.