The Team Hawkes trained Showtime will sidestep a showdown with champion mare Winx in the Group 1 $500,000 Winx Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on Saturday and will run at Caulfield instead.
Showtime was one of fourteen horses nominated for the Winx Stakes but Team Hawkes’ head trainer John Hawkes said that the Snitzel four year old will likely head to Melbourne and take on a tough field in the Group 2 $200,000 P.B. Lawrence Stakes (1400m).
“It will still be a tough race at Caulfield, they are all good horses and there are no easy races at this time of year,’’ Hawkes told The Daily Telegraph.
The late addition of the Garry Neale trained Oriental Runner to the entry list for the Winx Stakes took the total number of nominations to fourteen but the numbers are already starting dwindle.
Showtime showed plenty of potential during the 2018 Autumn Carnival as a three year old with a third placing behind Brave Smash and Tosen Stardom in the Group 1 $500,000 i Futurity Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on February 24 and then three starts later was Group 1 placed again when third behind Trapeze Artist and Le Romain in the $600,000 Schweppes All Aged Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on April 21.
Showtime has had one run back from a spell for a fifth to Pierata in the Group 2 $200,000 Mostyn Copper Group Missile Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on August 4.
Winx is at the short odds of $1.15 for the Winx Stakes with Ladbrokes.com.au at her first run back since winning the Group 1 $4m Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on April 14, day two of The Championships.
Showtime is marked at $34 for the Winx Stakes while in the P.B. Lawrence Stakes he is listed as a $16 chance.
The Group 1 $5m Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) at The Valley on October 27 will be Winx’s main 2018 Spring Carnival goal to try to make it four wins in a row after winning the weight for age championship for the last three years in 2015, 2016 and 2017.
Early betting for the 2018 Winx Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au: $1.15 Winx, $12 D’Argento, $16 Ace High, Alizee, $26 Cabeza De Vaca, $34 Luvaluva, Showtime, Single Gaze, Unforgotten, $101 Religify, $201 Classic Uniform, Invictus Prince, Libran, $301 Oriental Runner.