2017 Black Opal Stakes: Trapeze Artist Causes Upset

<p>The application of blinkers sparked Trapeze Artist to a career best display in the 2017 Black Opal Stakes at Canberra on Sunday. &nbsp; The Gerald Ryan-trained Trapeze Artist flew under the radar heading into the Black Opal Stakes with stablemate and favourite Chauffeur attracting the most attention. &nbsp; What ensued was a clinical win for the lesser fancied stable runner with Ryan putting Trapeze Artist’s sharp improvement down to the application of blinkers. &nbsp; “He’s always had the talent,” Ryan said. “I put blinkers on him between his two trials and he improved out of sight. &nbsp; “At home and through the week he has been going terrific. I’ve always believed he is a good horse and he proved that today. &nbsp; “At the 600m he was really travelling. I knew he was getting no pressure on him and he was going to let down.” &nbsp; Trapeze Artist is no longer in the Golden Slipper entries, The G1 Sires Produce Stakes (1400m) and the G1 Champagne Stakes (1600m) in April will be upcoming goals for the son of Snitzel. &nbsp; “We didn’t leave him in the Slipper so his aim has always been the Sires and Champagne,” Ryan said. &nbsp; “I think he is going to end up a really nice three-year-old. &nbsp; “He has a habit of missing the start. I thought when he came out in the straight he should have finished off. First look watching it live he was disappointing.” &nbsp; The race provided Tim Clark with a feature race double, claiming the Black Opal Stakes (1200m) following his success on Dark Eyes in the Listed Canberra Cup (2000m). &nbsp; Clark settled Trapeze Artist outside of the early leader Excelsior before the pair made their move at the 300m, dashing away for a three length success over anticipated key chances Trekking and Muraaqeb. &nbsp; “He put himself there very easily,” Clark said. &nbsp; “Blinkers really switched him on. If anything he probably overtravelled slightly. &nbsp; “We had a pretty easy time coming to the turn and probably let him slide a little early but he kept up a really strong gallop all of the way to the line.”</p>