After being warned against taking an aerial route to the Black Opal Stakes, Bert Vieira will go to any lengths to watch Trapeze Artist perform in the Golden Slipper.
Vieira certainly wasn’t upset when trainer Gerald Ryan urged him not to watch the colt’s attempt to qualify for Saturday’s $3.5 million feature at Rosehill when Trapeze Artist headed to Canberra earlier this month.
“I asked Gerald ‘Do I fly down?’ He said he’ll come about fourth …. he blew them away,” Vieira said.
A contrite Ryan apologised after Trapeze Artist won the Group Three 1200m warm-up on March 5 by three lengths from Golden Slipper rival Trekking, and Vieira happily stumped up the $150,000 late entry fee.
“If you do win, you’re so far ahead,” Vieira said.
He drew barrier five for his colt on Tuesday but after owning horses for a decade, Vieira would have been happy with the widest barrier available.
“I was excited to get any number up there. It’s my first Golden Slipper opportunity and if we’re a chance of getting within the first three we’re rapt,” he said.
Ryan downplayed Trapeze Artist’s qualifying hopes for Saturday’s Golden Slipper (1200m) because he felt the Black Opal was also a touch short in distance.
“Gerald thinks he a 1400-metre horse. He thinks he’s got a lot more potential for the future,” Vieira said.
Until now, the Sydney businessman’s best horse has been Torio’s Quest, winner of the 2011 Magic Millions Guineas.
But Trapeze Artist could surpass him, especially now there is clarity over the benefits of blinkers.
Trapeze Artist won on debut at Newcastle last month with blinkers on but was not as effective when they were removed for his first experience at Randwick when fourth on February 15.
“He (Ryan) put the blinkers on the horse and the performance at the Black Opal was amazing,” Vieira said.
“He said the horse has changed with the blinkers on.”
Vieira said the Group One $1 million Sires Produce Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on April 1 is the on the radar should Trapeze Artist’s Golden Slipper run warrant a start.