Trapeze Artist bounces back for emotional win, Ball of Muscle steps up

3 min read
Trapeze Artist burst back into imposing form as the Sydney sprinters sorted out their pecking order at Randwick, before the Melbourne contingent hit town for the upcoming autumn G1s.

Gerald Ryan's star sprinter Trapeze Artist (Snitzel) was underwhelming when beaten first-up in the G1 Expressway Stakes but the 4-year-old showed he is nearing his imposing best with an all-the-way win in the G1 Canterbury Stakes.

Trapeze Artist won the G1 Golden Rose as a 3-year-old, before returning last autumn to complete the G1 TJ Smith Stakes and G1 All Aged Stakes double.

That double looks on the cards again after jockey Blake Shinn controlled the Canterbury Stakes from in front, with Trapeze Artist safely holding classy mare Shoals (Fastnet Rock) on the line, with Prompt Response (Beneteau) third.

" Once I got to the front and I had control I was never in doubt," Shinn said. "It was a tricky race to assess but I said to (owner) Bert and (trainer) Gerald, ‘look we’ll just ride the horse, play to his strengths.’ He doesn’t like a sit-sprint so we made it a bit of a test. How are they going to beat him? On his best he’s up there with the world’s best sprinters and he proved that today. "

"It was a sensational win on a superstar horse."

Ryan confirmed that Trapeze Artist would again attempt the G1 double.

"We've got two more to go, the TJ and the All Aged," he said.

Emotional win

It was an emotional win for connections, with popular jockey Tye Angland having ridden Trapeze Artist in his three top-level wins.

It was confirmed this week that Angland is a quadriplegic, with limited use of his arms, as a result of injuries suffered in a December race fall in Hong Kong. He was at Randwick today for the first time since his accident.

"All the jockeys in this race are riding for Tye," Shinn said. "This is his horse. It’s pretty emotional really to be given the opportunity. It could’ve been me in Tye’s position, having a fall and breaking my neck. My heart goes out to him and I’m very honoured to be able to ride this horse and ride in these silks in support of Tye."

Tye Angland was Trapeze Artist's regular rider

Muscle-bound winner

Earlier in the day tough 8-year-old Ball Of Muscle (Dubawi {Ire}) upset two-time Everest winner Redzel (Snitzel) in the G2 Challenge Stakes to set the tone for what could be a big carnival of sprint clashes.

"I'm really proud of this horse," Ball Of Muscle's trainer Joe Pride said. "A lot of work has gone into him and very proud of the team at home and this horse. He's old but age hasn't wearied him"

"Not being able to take him to Perth was disappointing but he maybe looks as though he is going just as well as he was before."

Ball of Muscle upsets Redzel

Ball Of Muscle is a full-brother Tiger Tees (NZ) and half-brother to Terravista (Captain Rio {GB}), both of whom won Group 1s for Pride, and is a half-brother to Singapore star Super Easy (NZ) (Darci Brahma {NZ}).

"The family have all done well in their later years of racing," Pride said. "We just take the best care of him that we can. The rest takes care of itself. "I think the Galaxy is the obvious next move for him. It's never really been his favourite track Rosehill but we will certainly have to give it some deep consideration."