Newcastle trainer Ben Smith said punters can expect to see a bigger and stronger In Her Time when the mare steps out for an exhibition gallop on her home track on Friday.
The three-time group 2 winner has not raced since a luckless second in the group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on October 27 last year. She was then scratched on raceday from the Darley Classic two weeks later because of a hoof injury sustained in the Manikato.
Smith has nursed the five-year-old, a winner of seven races from 17 starts and $1.41 million, back to full fitness with the first-up target of the group 1 The Galaxy (1100m) on March 24 at Rosehill. In Her Time, which had eight weeks in the paddock, will gallop between races at the Newmarket meeting then trial at Randwick on Tuesday.
“We just had to do a bit of corrective shoeing and get the heel to grow down a bit,” Smith said. “We gave her a bit of time, just doing the right thing by her, and she’s come back a lot stronger.
“She’s about 35 kilos heavier than when she raced in the Manikato. She’s a much bigger and stronger girl, and she’s going really well.”
He said the $2.5 million TJ Smith Stakes (1200) at Randwick on April 7 was In Her Time’s main target before a Brisbane campaign and shot at securing a spot in the $13 million The Everest.
On Monday, Newcastle trainer Kris Lees announced that Prized Icon would not race in the Australian Cup on Saturday and would go to the Ajax Stakes on March 17.
Smith, meanwhile, said Floki, a winner at Canterbury last Friday night, would next contest the Gosford heat of the Provincial Championships on March 17.
He also has Anecdote resuming in a 900m race at Newcastle on Friday.