Trapeze Artist

March 25, 2020David Bay

WITH a sire, grandsire and great-grandsire who have all written their names in Australian breeding history Trapeze Artist has a lot to live up to. But this four-time Gr.1 winner is used to writing his name in the record books and is sure to make every post a winner when he begins his stallion career at Widden Stud in the new season.

[First published: May 2019]

DOESN’T this sound like a recipe for sire success to you? A four-time Gr.1 winner by a champion sire from the Danehill male line, fourth dam a Golden Slipper winner tracing to a sister to Phar Lap and with Gr.1 winners under the first three dams. If you agree then you’d better be booking a mare or two to Trapeze Artist when he lines up for his stud debut at Widden in the new season.

Top of the tree among entire sons of champion sire and Oakleigh Plate-Gr.1 winner Snitzel (Redoute’s Choice-Snippets’ Lass by Snippets) with seven wins to 1400m and earnings of $5.56m, Trapeze Artist was Australia’s Champion 3YO Colt of 2017-18 (Timeform 126) when his wins included the T.J. Smith-Gr.1, Golden Rose-Gr.1 and All-Aged Stakes-Gr.1, he continued that good form at four, winning the Canterbury Stakes-Gr.1 (1300m) at Randwick on March 9 in a record 1:14.19 (33.67) beating Shoals at what was to be his penultimate start. His fee has been set at $88,000.

“It’s a real privilege to stand Trapeze Artist on behalf of the Vieira family,” Widden Stud’s Antony Thompson said. “He’s a record breaking machine, a four-time Gr.1 winner who is just a phenomenal athlete and is by the best stallion in the country.”

Trapeze Artist, who was retained by his breeders after not reaching his $300,000 reserve at the 2016 Inglis Easter Yearling Sale, is a handsome bay son of the Domesday (Red Ransom) mare Treppes, a half-sister to Gr.1 winner Crawl. He danced every dance for his owners, the Vieira family, and trainer, Gerald Ryan, from the time he first stepped out on to the track on February 4, 2017. He won by two lengths on debut at two in a Beaumont (Newcastle) race record 1:14.13 for 1250m, when he also claimed the Black Opal-Gr.3 (1200m) in Canberra and was third behind Invader in the ATC Sires’ Produce-Gr.1 on a heavy (8) surface at Randwick.

It was a similar story at his previous run in the Golden Slipper-Gr.1 at Rosehill where he struck a track rated heavy (10) in finishing sixth of 16 behind She Will Reign after racing third for most of the journey.

Put away for a break after five starts at two, the colt resumed on August 19, 2017 with a sixth to Dracarys in the Up&Coming-Gr.3 after leading for most of the trip, the 1300m race run in a record 1:14.76. He then won a Rosehill trial before finishing fourth in the Stan Fox-Gr.2 behind Gold Standard on September 9, stepping out in the Golden Rose-Gr.1 (1400m) at Rosehill (Good 3) on September 23. This proved a mighty run for Trapeze Artist (Tye Angland) who was sitting sixth at the 800m and 400m, racing four wide without cover, thanks to his outside barrier, and came with a withering run to beat filly Champagne Cuddles by a record margin of 4.25 lengths. The winner’s stablemate and favourite Menari, also by Snitzel, was a half-neck back in third, the race run in 1:22.41.

“I have been saying for two weeks this horse has been flying under the radar, but because of the path I’ve taken with this colt, people just forgot about him,” Ryan said after the $41 shot won easily. “I put blinkers on him in the Black Opal and he peaked that day and I kept telling his owners that he was only being aimed at one race and that was the Golden Rose.”

An unplaced run down the Flemington straight 1200m behind Merchant Navy in the Coolmore-Gr.1 followed on November 4 before a break. Trapeze Artist tuned up with a Rosehill 900m trial win on January 22, 2018, before tackling the older sprinters in the Expressway Stakes-Gr.2 (1200m) at Rosehill, sitting second for most of the journey before a 1.25 length win over Showtime (Snitzel) in 1:10.41 on a track rated soft (5). He tried to lead all the way in the Hobartville-Gr.2 (1400m), winding up fourth (1.6 len) behind Kementari on February 24 and was third (1.75 len) behind that horse in the Randwick Guineas-Gr.1 (1600m) after leading at the 400m on March 10.

He took on some of the country’s best older sprinters next time out, lining up for the T.J. Smith-Gr.1 (1200m) at Randwick on April 18, reuniting with Tye Agland, and caused an upset when he powered past Everest hero Redzel (also by Snitzel) to claim the $2.5m sprint in 1:08.29 (33.89), eclipsing Black Caviar’s race record from 2011 to score by two lengths. In Her Time was third.

Managing owner Bert Vieira had to convince Ryan to drop back in distance to tackle the sprint. “When Bert twisted my arm about running him I thought I’ll have to draw on all my expertise and what I’ve been taught on how to do it, and it’s worked,” Ryan said.

Another Gr.1 beckoned the horse/rider combination on April 21 when they stepped out in the All-Aged Stakes (1400m) at Randwick and it was another triumph for the duo. Trapeze Artist scored a narrow win over multiple Gr.1 winner Le Romain and Showtime, setting a track record (1:20.33) and prompting his trainer to declare he could be “top of the world” as a four year-old.


Toggle Cross Duplications
Show/Hide Sibling Identifiers

Five x Five Enhanced Pedigree Grid for

TRAPEZE ARTIST (AUS) 2014 Bay or Brown colt
by Snitzel - Treppes, by Domesday


B. 2002
GW 7 wins
f:1818 r:1512 w:1188 SW:141
Redoute's Choice
B. 1996
GW 5 wins
f:1885 r:1555 w:1217 SW:182
B. 1986
GW 4 wins
f:2414 r:2083 w:1631 SW:347
Danzig1Northern Dancer2
Pas de Nom7
RazyanaHis Majesty4
1Spring Adieu2
Shantha's Choice
B. 1992
Wnr 1 win
f:13 r:10 w:10 SW:5
Canny LadBletchingly7
Jesmond Lass14
Dancing ShowNijinsky8
2Show Lady8
Snippets' Lass
B. 1993
SW 7 wins
f:6 r:6 w:6 SW:3
B. 1984
GW 9 wins
f:828 r:739 w:602 SW:57
LunchtimeSilly Season1
Great Occasion7
Easy DateGrand Chaudiere19
Snow Finch
B. 1984
SW 2 wins
f:14 r:13 w:10 SW:2
Storm Bird1Northern Dancer2
South Ocean4
A RealgirlIn Reality21
Secret Verdict2
Br. 2007
f:5 r:4 w:3 SW:1
Br. 2002
GW 2 wins
f:815 r:705 w:406 SW:19
Red Ransom
B. 1987
Wnr 2 wins
f:1960 r:1610 w:1091 SW:110
RobertoHail to Reason4
Christmas Wind6
In the Past
B. 1997
f:11 r:7 w:4 SW:1
ZafonicGone West2
VictorianaStorm Bird4
Br. 1989
Wnr 1 win
f:12 r:8 w:5 SW:2
Br. 1970
GW 4 wins
f:625 r:531 w:420 SW:63
BiscayStar Kingdom1
Magic Symbol2
Last Judgement7
Elegant Walk
Ch. 1979
f:5 r:5 w:3 SW:1
Le CordonnierSaint Crespin22
Fairy WalkMinor Portion3

Bletchingly (AUS) 1970 : 5m x 3f
Storm Bird (CAN) 1978 : 4f x 5f

Northern Dancer (CAN) 1961 : 5m 5m x

“I’d like to see him keep racing. I’d like to come back for The Everest, he’d be sensational in that,” he said as rumours surfaced that studs were bidding as much as $40m to secure the superb stallion prospect. “I’ve never trained a horse to win three Gr.1 races in a season, he’s up with the best I’ve had.”

Trapeze Artist had his first start at four when third behind Home of the Brave (IRE) in the Theo Marks-Gr.2 (1300m) at Rosehill on September 8, striking a heavy (8) track and was then fourth (1.7l) behind Santa Ana Lane in the Premiere-Gr.2 (1200m), the winner running a record 1:07.45, before lining up for the $13m Everest (1200m) on a heavy (9) surface at Randwick on October 13, not disgraced when runner-up to Redzel, beaten 1.25 lengths and with Osborne Bulls third, the time of 1:12.03 reflected the state of the track.

Given a good break, Trapeze Artist resumed with a fourth in the Expressway-Gr.2 behind Alizee on February 2 this year and then won a Rosehill 1030m trial on March 1 before scoring his fourth Gr.1 win in the Canterbury Stakes (1300m in 1:14.19). His 1.5 length defeat of outstanding mare Shoals landing him another track record at Randwick, all the more meritorious as he led all the way, running the final 600m in 33.67.

Another trial win followed on March 29 and he was retired after injuring a shoulder when seventh behind Santa Ana Lane in the T.J. Smith-Gr.1 on April 6. From 20 starts Trapeze Artist won seven races, was once second, twice third and fourth four times for earnings of $5,568,750, his 15 “first four” finishes highlighting his remarkable consistency in the best sprint company.

There is very little more we can say about his sire Snitzel (Redoute’s Choice-Snippets’ Lass by Snippets), whose sire and dam sire both won the Oakleigh Plate-Gr.1 (1100m) and were also Gr.1 winners at two.

Arrowfield Stud’s Snitzel has been Australia’s Champion Sire for the past two seasons and is a certainty to retain the title in 2018-19. His stock (89SW) have won a Cox Plate, Golden Slipper, ATC The Galaxy, Australian Guineas, The Everest, T.J. Smith and ATC Sires’ Produce and a host of other top class races since he entered stud in 2006 and he’s left more than 720 winners.

His yearlings regularly command $1m or more and he’s worked with a variety of sire lines, his major runners being out of mares by Rubiton, Stravinsky, Success Express, Fraar, Blushing Groom, Timber Country, General Nediym, Last Tycoon (doubles Best in Show), Charge Forward (like Domesday, a son of Red Ransom), Encosta de Lago and El Prado. Snitzel already has a line of Bletchingly (Biscay) via Canny Lad and two lines of Lunchtime (5fx3m) via Canny Lad’s dam Jesmond Lass and Snippets, has done well with repeats of Biscay and other Star Kingdom line horses and with further returns of Lunchtime.

There are stakes placed performers by Lonhro, Street Cry, More Than Ready, All Too Hard and I Am Invincible under his dam, a Listed winner who also produced stakes winners Viennese (Redoute’s Choice) and Hinchinbrook (Fastnet Rock) among her five winners.

Race Record

(in Australia)

At 2 : Canberra RC Black Opal S., Gr.3 (1200m beating Trekking and Safin)
Newcastle JC XXXX Gold 2YO Maiden P. (1250m)
3d ATC (Randwick) Sires' Produce S., Gr.1 (1400m to Invader and Summer Passage)
At 3 : ATC (Randwick) TJ Smith S., Gr.1 (1200m beating Redzel and In Her Time)
All Aged S., Gr.1 (1400m in track record time beating Le Romain and Showtime)
ATC (Rosehill) Golden Rose S., Gr.1 (1400m beating Champagne Cuddles and Menari)
Expressway S., Gr.2 (1200m beating Showtime and Addictive Nature)
3d ATC (Randwick) Randwick Guineas, Gr.1 (1600m to Kementari and Pierata)
4th ATC (Rosehill) Hobartville S., Gr.2 (1400m)
Stan Fox S., Gr.2 (1500m)
At 4 : ATC (Randwick) Canterbury S., Gr.1 (1300m in track record time beating Shoals and Prompt Response)
3d ATC (Rosehill) Theo Marks S., Gr.2 (1300m to Home of the Brave and D'Argento)
4th ATC (Randwick) Premiere S., Gr.2 (1200m)
ATC (Rosehill) Expressway S., Gr.2 (1200m)

Champion 3YO Colt in Australia in 2017-18.
World Thoroughbred Ranking: 118 (in 2017)
123 (in 2018)
120 (in 2019).

Snippets, the sire of Snippets Lass, is a positive transmitter of speed, while Snitzel’s second dam Snow Finch (IRE) is a daughter of Storm Bird (whose grandson Tale of the Cat has also worked with Snitzel) and hails from a very smart American family, second dam A Realgirl is by the Man o’war line sire In Reality and very closely related to multiple Gr.1 winner Desert Vixen (In Reality) and Japanese sire Real Shadai (Roberto).

Trapeze Artist also hails from an illustrious family as his eighth dam Raphis (NZ) (Night Raid (GB)-Entreaty by Winkie (GB)) is a sister to turf legend Phar Lap and also dam of Gr.1 winners Swingalong and Count Cyrano (both by Battle Song). This branch of family 2r arrived in NZ with the importation of Miss Kate (GB) (1873, Adventurer-Sporting Life by Prime Minister) and descends through her daughter Catherine Wheel (Maxim), then Prayer Wheel (by Canterbury Pilgrim’s half-brother Pilgrim’s Progress (GB)), Entreaty and Raphis. Del Monte (Lucky Bag (GB)-Bobalong by Lord Bobs), fifth dam of Trapeze Artist, is a sister to Monte Carlo, whose wins included the AJC Derby and VRC Derby, AJC St Leger and The Metropolitan and the L.K.S. Mackinnon Stakes.

But we don’t have to delve into too much ancient history to find the good ‘uns in this pedigree, fourth dam Fairy Walk (Minor Portion (GB)-Lilting by Messmate (GB)) won a Golden Slipper-Gr.1 and a Hobartville-Gr.2 and was runner-up in the AJC and VRC Sires’ Produce, both Gr.1, and third in a Blue Diamond-Gr.1. Her son Cheyne Walk (Le Cordonnier (GB)) numbered a Champion Stakes-Gr.1, Doomben Cup-Gr.1 and Queensland Derby-Gr.1 among his nine wins before a stud career (125 winners, five SW) and her daughter Jubilee Walk (King of Babylon) won a Flight Stakes-Gr.2 (now Gr.1) and was fourth in the Golden Slipper and Champagne Stakes. Fairy Walk’s half-brother Planet Kingdom (Star Kingdom), a Gr.3 winner and Gr.1 runner-up in the AJC Derby and All-Aged Stakes, left 175 winners (18SW).

Other stallion descendants of Raphis include Authentic Heir (Coronation Boy), Macho (King of Babylon), and Blazing Saddles (Todman), the last named leaving 240 winners (11SW, two Gr.1). Descendants of Raphis have won more than 5150 races (1546 winners), with 71 stakes winners (15 Gr.1) and include champion mare Research, a rare winner of the AJC Derby/AJC Oaks/VRC Oaks/Flight Stakes and Authentic Heir whose
14 wins included the Doncaster/Epsom double.

Elegant Walk (Le Cordonnier), third dam of Trapeze Artist is an unraced sister to Cheyne Walk and produced three winners from five foals, the most notable being Goodwood Handicap-Gr.1 winner Boardwalk Angel (Bletchingly), dam of Gr.1 winner Coogee Walk (Success Express).

Her descendants also include Gr.1 winner Distill (Volksraad).

Boardwalk Angel’s winning sister Traipse (Bletchingly) is the second dam of Trapeze Artist and is also a Gr.1 producer. Her five winners include the Stradbroke-Gr.1 hero Crawl (Dr Grace), also a multiple Gr.1 placegetter, the Listed winner Old Man (Dr Grace) and the 1400m winner Step (Grand Lodge), dam of Gr.2 winner and Gr.1 placed Marching (Commands) and Listed winner Gait (Anabaa). Treppes, dam of Trapeze Artist, placed at three and is a daughter of the Silver Slipper-Gr.2 winner Domesday (Red Ransom (USA)-In The Past (GB) by Zafonic), whose second dam Victoriana, is by Storm Bird and third dam Monroe is a daughter of Sir Ivor and Best in Show (Traffic Judge).

Trapeze Artist - Stallions Listing

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Monroe, dam of champion juvenile and former shuttle sire Xaar (Zafonic) and Masterclass (USA) (The Minstrel), who stood in NZ and Australia, and a sister to former SA-based sire Gielgud (later sold to Japan), is a sister to Show Lady, third dam of Gr.1 winner and multiple champion sire Redoute’s Choice (Danehill (USA)-Shantha’s Choice by Canny Lad), sire of Snitzel. The sisters Show Lady and Monroe appear 5×5 in the pedigree of Trapeze Artist.

Domesday, who now stands for Aquis in Queensland, where he will eventually be joined by his 2018 VRC Derby-winning son Extra Brut, (a horse bred on the reverse cross to Trapeze Artist as his dam, Dom Perion, is by Redoute’s Choice), has been a very successful sire off a modest fee base and started with Darley in 2006. A son of champion sire Red Ransom (USA) (Roberto-Arabia by Damascus), he has also left the other Gr.1 winners Daysee Doom (Mister C), Pressday (Kaaptive Edition), Ruthven (Octagonal) and Doctor Doom (Orpen). His dam sire Zafonic (Gone West) won the English 2000 Guineas, Dewhurst Stakes and Prix de la Salamandre, all Gr.1, and is a grandson of Mr. Prospector.

The six-generation pedigree of Trapeze Artist shows a 5mx3f cross of Bletchingly (whose dam is by Man o’War line sire Relic), Storm Bird 4fx5f (his sire Northern Dancer 5m,6m,6m,5mx6m, plus a daughter of his sire Nearctic and a daughter of his dam Natalma), Sir Ivor 6fx6f and Best in Show 6fx6f. Last Tycoon descendants (his sire is a grandson of Best in Show) such as Written Tycoon, could suit here and daughters of Sepoy (Gone West/Danehill/Canny Lad family) are also appealing. Daughters of Lonhro, Encosta de Lago and More Than Ready also suit, ditto Success Express and his son Mossman, as well as mares carrying Lunchtime.

However, Snitzel has worked with mares from a variety of sire lines and Trapeze Artist should prove just as adaptable. Widden Stud has a great history of making sires, choosing carefully and then giving the young sires every opportunity. His $88,000 fee will ensure Trapeze Artist attracts the very best mares and he has the race record, physique and pedigree to do the rest. n

David Bay

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