IN Racing
Randwick resumption likely for Showmanship
Danny O’Brien is leaning towards heading north to Sydney on Saturday with his comeback gelding Showmanship.
NZ Racing Desk | August 18, 2022
Showmanship. Photo: Natasha Morello

Danny O’Brien is leaning towards heading north to Sydney on Saturday with his comeback gelding Showmanship to contest the Gr.3 Show County Quality (1200m).

The Barwon Heads trainer has also accepted with the New Zealand-bred gelding for the Listed Carlyon Stakes (1000m) at The Valley, but he believes the son of Showcasing is better suited to the Randwick feature.

“We are probably leaning toward Sydney. I think the 1200m at Randwick is probably a better set-up for him,” O’Brien told RSN.

“We have only got 1000m for him at The Valley and the rail is out, so it might be a bit tough for horses getting back in the field.”

The seven-year-old gelding attracted many admirers two years ago when winning six consecutive races for former trainers Grant and Alana Williams, culminating with victory in the Listed Bendigo Bank Stakes (1200m).

Carrying the silks of well-known owner Bob Peters, Showmanship was heading towards earning a berth in the A$15 million The Everest (1200m), however, he suffered a tendon injury, which ruled him out of racing for nearly two years.

In his comeback earlier this year, Showmanship showed he had lost none of his talent when resuming in March with a trial win in his 1000m heat at Colac.

He didn’t make his raceday return until placing in the Listed Wangoom (1200m) at Warrnambool in May in his first start for O’Brien, who has taken it quietly with the gelding since then.

He was set to kick-off his spring preparation last week, but O’Brien elected to wait a week after running bloods on the seven-year-old last Saturday.

“He left a bit of feed (last week) and we didn’t want to risk him. He bounced back really quickly and by Monday, he was fine,” O’Brien said.

O’Brien has been pleased with the talented sprinter and is looking forward to stepping him out this weekend.

“He is really well,” O’Brien said. “He had a run back in the Wangoom, but that was a few months ago. That was off a long break, he hadn’t raced in 18 months.

“He got good improvement from that run. He has maintained really good fitness since then, over the winter, and I think he is ready to step-up and hopefully pick up where he left off a couple of seasons ago when he put a long string of wins together.”

O’Brien is unsure what spring holds for Showmanship, but a Group One tilt is on the cards if he continues to improve.

“He is still down the bottom of the ratings in stakes grade so he has got a lot of options in what he can run in,” O’Brien said.

“We would like to think that he can work his way through potentially to some form of Group One by the end of the spring, but he is not a hard horse to place.”

Showmanship was purchased by bloodstock agent John Chalmers, on behalf of Bob Peters, out of Haunui Farm’s 2017 New Zealand Bloodstock Select Yearling Sale draft for $145,000.

Danny O’Brien Showmanship Showcasing Alana Williams Grant Williams Bob Peters John Chalmers New Zealand Bloodstock Haunui Farm