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Beau Mertens claims first Group race win

Last season’s champion Melbourne apprentice Beau Mertens has achieved one of his spring carnival goals with victory on Caulfield Guineas-bound Showtime at Moonee Valley.

Mertens’ win on the Hawkes Racing-trained colt in Friday night’s Group Two Stutt Stakes (1600m) was the apprentice’s first in a Group race after two Listed winners last season.

“It’s my first Group winner. And for it to be a Group Two is a thrill,” Mertens said.

“It was a goal of mine to win a Group race this spring.

“I can’t thank the Hawkes team enough.”

Co-trainer Wayne Hawkes was equally complimentary of Mertens.

“He’s a breath of fresh air,” he said.

Showtime, the $3.70 favourite, tracked the leader The Mission before striding up approaching the turn and then opening up a winning break.

The colt went on to beat the fast-closing Salsamor by three-quarters of a length with another short half-head to Holy Snow.

It was Showtime’s second win from nine starts and co-trainer Wayne Hawkes said the colt would have his next start in the Group One Caulfield Guineas (1600m) on October 14.

Showtime is a brother to Sweet Idea whose eight wins from 19 starts included the 2015 Group One Galaxy.

Sweet Idea is now in the breeding barn which is where Heatherly is headed after bleeding from both nostrils for the second time when last in Friday night’s Group One Moir Stakes won by She Will Reign.

Trained by Mathew Ellerton and Simon Zahra, Heatherly is now banned from racing in Australia.

Heatherly won six of her 18 starts with her biggest win the 2016 Group Two Rubiton Stakes while she was placed twice at Group One level.

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