The Everest: Ben Smith taking patient approach with In Her Time

FLYING: In Her Time winning the group 2 Breeders Classic at Randwick in February over 1200m, the same track and distance of The Everest. Picture: bradleyphotos.com.au
FLYING: In Her Time winning the group 2 Breeders Classic at Randwick in February over 1200m, the same track and distance of The Everest. Picture: bradleyphotos.com.au

Broadmeadow trainer Ben Smith has ruled out rushing stable star In Her Time back to racing to push her claims for a spot in the $10 million The Everest.

In Her Time has thrived during a stint at Embrook Stables in Beaudesert, Queensland, following her luckless but impressive campaign north of the border where she was third in the Tattersall’s Tiara and second in the Stradbroke Handicap.

The four-year-old mare will return to Smith’s stables on Sunday and begin preparations for the Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on October 27. The other option is the inaugural The Everest (1200m) at Randwick on October 14.

In Her Time and premier Newcastle trainer Kris Lees’ Clearly Innocent and Le Romain are among 25 applicants for the Australian Turf Club’s slot in the world’s richest turf race.

Connections of the Newcastle-trained trio have also spoken with other slot holders who are yet to declare their runner. There are five spots still available.

While Clearly Innocent and Le Romain were always due to race before The Everest, Smith has no plans to speed up his preparations with In Her Time to put her on trial for a start.

“We won’t run her before The Everest, even if we get a run in it,” Smith said. 

“They are going to have to just take her on her previous form and trial form, whether they want to do that is another thing, but I’m not going to push her.”

Smith put in an 11th hour submission for the ATC spot after the club contacted him, and he has since had talks with one other slot holder.

“James Ross from the ATC was going to touch base with a couple of the shareholders for me, and see if something can come out of it,” he said. 

“Damion Flower has a slot and I’ve spoken with him briefly. I just put my case forward, but he’s not doing anything for a while.

“He’s just waiting to see how horses come back.”

Lees said there had been talks only with multiple Everest slot holders about his two hopefuls. 

Le Romain is due to trial again on Tuesday at Newcastle ahead of a first-up assignment in the group 2 Missile Stakes on August 5.

Lees said Clearly Innocent had been back in work for two weeks and would probably resume a month out from The Everest. 

Meanwhile, Newcastle jockey Andrew Gibbons built on his record-best season with a winning treble at Scone on Friday to go to 73 winners. Gibbons took Lees’ Navua Mist and Clevanicc, and Kylie Gavenlock’s Randiki to victory.

Smith, meanwhile, was thrilled with how In Her Time had flourished over the past three weeks in Queensland.

“I left her up there and she’s actually put on a stack of weight, for her,” he said. “She looks really good and just seems to be getting better.”