The Everest favourite and multi-Group One winning horse Trapeze Artist’s owner Bert Vieira is also the CEO of one of Australia’s top financial companies. But Vieira is best known as a prominent racehorse owner who has owned stakes winners since the time he first started racing.
The passionate and vivacious Bert Vieira chats to Everest Diaries about Trapeze Artist and the Everest:
Q: How did you come to own Trapeze Artist? Is he definitely retiring after the Everest and have you decided where he will be retiring to?
A: Trapeze Artist is home bred. I had a reserve of A$350,000 for him in the Inglis sale. He could only get as far as A$300,000. Thank God!!
In this case, he had a little mark on his leg and the vets were not sure whether there was something wrong. But I consider it a blessing in disguise, because I then got the opportunity to race this amazing horse.
Although I have been offered A$40 million for Trapeze Artist, I have decided to race him for a year and then breed him myself. My family isn’t happy about my decision but eventually they will come to agree with me.
I am sure that we can recover the A$40 million over the next few years once his stud career starts and eventually, he will become a very profitable stallion for us, especially after his progeny starts racing.
Q: What are your plans for Trapeze Artist after The Everest?
A: Trapeze Artist will have two or three runs, in Australia before the TJ Smith race and the All Aged Stakes. Ideally we want him to complete four Group Ones in autumn, after which we plan to race him at Royal Ascot.
Once we return, he will have he will be retired for the 2019 breeding season. After his first season in Sydney he will hopefully move him to England for the Northern Hemisphere season.
Q: Given your years of racing experience, did you feel that Trapeze Artist was a top quality sprinter from the beginning?
A: I always believed that Trapeze Artist was meant for speed. So at a critical junction after watching him run away with the Golden Rose crown, I made 34 calls to Gerald Ryan, in-order to convince him that Trapeze Artist is meant for 1200m – 1400m sprint races.
Q: What would you consider his best performance?
A: I think that we saw Trapeze Artist give his best performance in the All Aged Stakes. He was two lengths behind Redzel, when he showed a blistering turn of foot to wear down the current Everest champion. Before the race everyone thought he wouldn’t be able to win a successful Group One, but he showed them.
(Trapeze Artist won the All Aged Stakes in 1:20.33, which was just one hundredth of a second quicker than the previous record held by the fellow Ryan-trained Solicit.
Trapeze Artist became the fourth three-year-old since 2012 to take out the weight-for-age All Aged Stakes and handed his trainer Ryan a second success in the event following that of Hurricane Sky back in 1995.
During the TJ Smith Stakes (2018) Trapeze Artist ran the Randwick 1200m in a stunning 1min8.29sec, shattering the legendary Black Caviar's race record of 1min8.71sec set in 2011)
Q: Is there any horse in The Everest field which you are concerned about?
A: I have absolutely no concerns. He is the highest rated horse in the race. He was voted best 3YO in Australia a couple of weeks ago in Sydney.
Q: How did a man in finance and banking get into racing?
A: It all started with a filly called Esparante. She won a Listed race and that was it.I was hooked!I eventually went on to own 280 horses at one point including 120 mares, one of whom was Trapeze Artist’s dam Treppes. However we have now scaled down to 65 mares and a total of 160 horses on the farm including mares.
Q: Please tell us about your family. Do they also enjoy racing?
A: I am Portuguese. My father was a diplomat and I grew up in Hong Kong. We eventually migrated here. My son is joint CEO of the business today. My wife and I are joined by my son and my daughter with their partners at every Trapeze Artist race. You can see us jumping like crazy in the winner’s circle every time.We thoroughly enjoy the game.
Q: Where did the name Trapeze Artist come from?
A: I spend quite a bit of time naming my horses. Trapeze Artist’s dam is Treppes. I kept think this boy is an artist. So Treppes and artist…became Trapeze Artist.I could have stopped this year. But this year offers me, 12 months of pure joy.So exciting!!