Day At The Track

Showgirl swansong in mares feature

11:54 AM 16 Jul 2020 NZST
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Smooth Showgirl,Harness racing
Smooth Showgirl
Dan Costello photo

The curtain is set to fall on star Queensland mare Smooth Showgirl this weekend.

Win, lose or draw – trainer Ian Gurney will send his ultra-talented mare to the next phase of her career after contesting the Listed $25,660 Fleur De Lil Ladyship Stakes at Albion Park on Saturday night.

Motherhood beckons for the Art Major mare.

Throughout her career, Smooth Showgirl has raced at the elite level contesting many features along the way while her biggest triumphs came at her home track of Albion Park.

Boasting 17 wins at the famed Breakfast Creek oval, Smooth Showgirl snared feature race victories in the Gr.1 $100,000 2014 Nursery Pace Fillies Final before returning the following year to claim the Gr.2 $75,000 3yo edition.

Smooth Showgirl also won the Forever Gold Mares Open twice during the Albion Park summer carnival, scoring in 2016 and again in 2018.

Her list of feature race placings include the Gr.3 Teeny Teeny Stakes at TABCORP Park, Menangle behind Millwood Liberty and Frith plus the Gr.2 Queensland Cup twice, third behind Aztec Bromac and Avonnova in 2017 and then as the runner-up behind Colt Thirty One the following year.

Smooth Showgirl managed to wins races at Melton, Menangle and Albion Park – the three metropolitan venues on the east coast of the country.

Amongst her haul of Albion Park victories, five of them were recorded in Open Class events where she tackled the best available pacers in the state at the time.

Overall, Smooth Showgirl has won 25 races from her 112 starts with earnings in excess of $370,000.

Raced by the Gurney family throughout her career following her purchase at the 2013 APG Melbourne Yearling Sale at a cost of $22,000, her time was spent with Belinda McCarthy and Ian Gurney as trainers.

Her best winning mile rate is 1:52.3 when successful at Menangle back in 2016 while placed behind Arms Of An Angel in 1:50.3.

“We absolutely love this mare and several times I’ve knocked back offers from North America and over the past eighteen months I’ve contemplated retirement but I knew she had more to give,” Trainer Ian Gurney said.

“I’d love to see her go out as a winner, I think she deserves that but racing is a hard game and fairytales don’t always play out but she’ll be giving her best just like she does at every start.

“Like most, she’s battled her problems but always gave her best. It’s hard to pin point one race in particular as a highlight because she always tried so hard so I’m going to miss her around the stable. Maybe the race she won earlier this year at Albion Park, all the family was there following the passing of Uncle Brian.

“We’ve got her booked to Sweet Lou, he’s an exciting young sire and doing a big job so here’s hoping she can produce something just like herself.”

Last week, Smooth Showgirl led up before being run down in the latter stages to finish fourth behind Justalittle Torque in the Queen of Hearts Pace in a time of 1:53.4.

It’s an identical field with the exception being Weeks End gaining a start over Cherrys The Best this week.

Smooth Showgirl will start from gate five with regular reinsman Adam Sanderson booked to drive.

 

Chris Barsby

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