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CANBERRA DOUBLE FOR HAWKESBURY TRAINERS

SUNDAY: December 29, 2019: BRAD Widdup has an eye to the future with Friday’s Canberra debut winner Showtime Lady and yesterday’s narrow Royal Randwick runner-up Switched.

Showtime Lady is going for a break and there’s every chance Switched will do the same.

A $50,000 Magic Millions yearling purchase earlier this year for James Harron Bloodstock, Showtime Lady ($3) got her career off to a successful start when she won the 2YO Handicap (1000m) at Canberra.

All Too Hard three-year-old Switched ($7), a $110,000 Inglis Classic yearling sale purchase last year and raced by a ladies’ syndicate which includes Widdup’s wife Milissa, went within a whisker of a metropolitan breakthrough when beaten on the post by another filly Aquitaine ($3.70) in the Benchmark 78 Handicap (1200m).

She has raced at Randwick on four occasions (including one on the Kensington track) and has been placed every time.

“It was good to get Showtime Lady’s maiden out of the way, especially over a distance which will be too short for her in the future,” Widdup said today.

“She is a nice filly and is definitely going to be better as a three-year-old.”

Ridden by Blaike McDougall, Showtime Lady sat off the speed in the small field and finished best to overhaul Spicy Restaurant ($3.20) and $2.30 favorite Charming Pat.

A daughter of the Oasis Dream stallion Showcasing, Showtime Lady is out of the O’Reilly mare Venus Bay, who was placed at her only two starts in New Zealand before being retired.

Showtime Lady’s older half-sister China Star is a six-times winner in New Zealand, including the Group 3 Manawatu Breeders’ Stakes (2000m) at Awapuni last year.

Widdup made it 17 wins for the current season with Showtime Lady (and 50th overall for Hawkesbury trainers), and nearly added to that with Switched yesterday.

Widdup was keen to run the filly against her own age in last Friday’s Group 3 Gosford Guineas (1200m), but aborted that plan when she drew poorly and instead headed to Randwick.

Always up on the speed, Switched (Christian Reith) looked set for victory until Aquitaine squeezed off the inside in the last 200m and just edged her out.

“She ran so well; it was a shame to see her go under narrowly,” Widdup said.

“I’m 50-50 about giving Switched another run; I’ll make up my mind in the next couple of days.

“She is very genuine and is still maturing. There’s no doubt she has further improvement in her.”

Like Showtime Lady, Switched made a winning debut (at Kembla Grange in May, defeating stablemate Night Flyer) and is building an enviable record.

Her seven starts to date have yielded two wins and four placings and she hasn’t finished further back than fifth.

. Mitch Newman made it a double for Hawkesbury trainers at Canberra when he landed the Class 1 Plate (2000m) with Little Arnie.

Having his 10th start and obviously responding to the addition of blinkers, Little Arnie (Brodie Loy) bolted home by more than four lengths.

A four-year-old by Eurozone, the gelding had finished fourth at his previous two starts at Canberra over 2000m on November 29 and over 2100m at Wyong on December 12.

It was Newman’s second winner of the season and both have been at Canberra. He scored earlier there with Piping Roller on October 25.