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  • Writer's pictureJohn Curtis


SUNDAY: May 8, 2022: IT’S showtime!

Leading Hawkesbury trainer Brad Widdup’s success with Showtime Lady at yesterday’s Gosford metropolitan meeting gave him 45 wins for the season, as he readies a big team for the two-day Scone Cup carnival this weekend.

Widdup brought off an excellent training triumph as he prepared Showtime Lady to score impressively first-up at 1200m, having not raced since finishing fifth over 1700m at the Melbourne Cup carnival at Flemington in early November.

Given a perfect ride by Tim Clark, the four-year-old mare went to the post a $5.50 favorite and easily disposed of Budhwar and Miss Fox, both $6.50 chances, in the Benchmark 72 Midway Handicap.

It was her fourth win – and first of metropolitan standard – and lifted her earnings to $114,345 from 13 starts, which have also yielded three minor placings.

A nice return on the $50,000 syndicate manager James Harron paid for the New Zealand bred daughter of Showcasing and O’Reilly mare Venus Bay at the 2019 Gold Coast Magic Millions yearling sale.

Widdup had given Showtime Lady two good trials and figured he had waited long enough to avoid heavy tracks and kick off her preparation, having withdrawn her from a home track engagement at last Saturday’s Hawkesbury stand-alone fixture.

“She isn’t comfortable on the heavy ground, but you can’t keep them in their stable forever,” Widdup said this afternoon.

“As it turned out, the Gosford track improved to a ‘Soft 7’ for her race yesterday.

“Showtime Lady has developed into a really nice mare, and I’m sure she will handle up to 1600m this time in work.

“We had a throw at the stumps with her at the Flemington carnival, and she did well against the bias after making the pace that day in a Benchmark 70 Handicap against her own sex.

“Showtime Lady has done a good job so far. She won on debut as a two-year-old over 1000m at Canberra at the end of 2019, and her record probably should read even better.

“She has pulled up well, and I’ve got a couple of options with her at Randwick in three weeks.

“She can run in either another Benchmark 72 Midway Handicap (1200m) or a Benchmark 78 Handicap (1400m) against her own sex.”

As Widdup heads toward a half century of winners for the season, he is likely to have up to a half dozen starters at this week’s Scone carnival.

Recent Hawkesbury stand-alone placegetters Authentic Jewel, Queen Bellissimo and Surreal Step are entries, along with Vulpine, hat-trick seeker Travelling Kate, Stellar Performer and Outlook.

Mum’s The Boss will return home overnight after finishing 10th in the Listed Gold Coast Bracelet (1800m) yesterday.

“She got into an awkward spot early on, and was never a chance,” Widdup said of his previous start Kembla Grange winner.

“If she does well after returning home, I’ll run her in a 3YO Benchmark 72 Handicap (2000m) at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday week.”

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