Smith’s Showamour steals the spotlight

By Benalla Ensign

Punters and price setters were all left with egg on their faces at the Echuca races on Monday.

Originally set for Geelong, the meeting was moved for maintenance reasons and Benalla trainer Peter Smith delivered one of the most talked-about winners on the day.

His lightly raced six-year-old mare Showamour — she has only had five starts — was sent out at 31/1 in the $22,000 Hygain Handicap over 1600m.

The horse had been a last start winner over the same distance at Warracknabeal, to break her maiden, in late June.

Yet there was hardly a ripple of interest in her by the time she headed for the starting barrier.

When the field jumped the horse bowled along midfield in a race with no real speed, but when they turned for home jockey Daniel Stackhouse used the swing into the straight to move to the extreme outside for a clear run at the leaders.

The horse started gathering them in one by one before fending off Jeune Elvis late to get the win, with the red-hot favourite Shake On It only beating home one of the 10 starters.

While Showamour has had more birthdays than race starts, she has proved a quality horse on the track — two wins from four starts in Victoria and a fifth unplaced run in NSW following her first race in October last year.

Jockey Stackhouse, who has ridden both wins, said Smith had done a good job with the horse and the month between its last race and this one proved to be a good strategy.

"She’s a bit of a quirky little mare but she has done a good job,'' he said.

"I think she will be able to make her way through the grades with more experience.

"Pete’s always had a good opinion of her, it’s just that she is a bit of a hot mare that can be hard to deal with sometimes.

"But after winning her last two I think she will be able to go on with it.''