Newcastle trainer Ben Smith was awaiting the results of tests on star mare In Her Time after her Doomben 10,000 (1200 metres) run but said plans to return north for the $1.5 million Stradbroke Handicap (1350m) remained on the table.
In Her Time, the second favourite, finished ninth, 2 ½ lengths from winner English, last Saturday and featured in the stewards’ notes.
They said In Her Time had to be steadied near the 100m when Impending shifted in. Jockey Corey Brown told stewards he felt In Her Time did not appreciate the racing surface, she was reluctant to stretch out and inclined to lay out in the straight. Stewards also said a post-race examination revealed she was slightly sore in both front fetlocks and had an elevated heart rate.
Smith, though, said on Monday that In Her Time had returned home to Broadmeadow as planned and had shown “no abnormalities”.
He said the five-year-old mare, a winner of $2,135,725, had been checked by a veterinarian and farrier and neither had found a problem.
“We got her home and we’re doing our due diligence,” Smith said.
“We’ve taken X-rays and bloods, and we’ve got the chiropractor coming this week and just all things we normally do.
“We’re just running a few tests at the moment and at this stage, there’s no abnormalities. By the end of the week, we’ll have all the results back, but at this stage there’s nothing.
“We just might have to put it down to a head-scratcher.
“She got bumped and it threw her off balance. It might just be one of those things. She did only get beaten 2 ½ lengths, so it wasn’t as if she tailed off.”
In Her Time gained the TAB slot for October’s $13 million The Everest (1200m) late last month and connections had planned to run in the Doomben 10,000 and Stradbroke before a spell. She was then due to tackle the Everest second-up after resuming in the group 2 Premiere Stakes.
Smith said the June 9 Stradbroke remained the next assignment for In Her Time, which was an $11 chance with TAB Fixed Odds.
“I can’t really fault her, so it might just be one of those things,” he said.
“If she doesn’t come up or doesn’t train on over the next fortnight, we might reassess, but at this stage, we’re pressing forward.
“She might want a break now, I don’t know. We’ll give her a really light week this week and see how she pulls up next week and go from there.”
Meanwhile, Smith said last-start Newcastle winner I Am Special was likely to be scratched at Tamworth on Tuesday in favour of a race at Quirindi on Friday, where the trainer believed she would be hard to beat.
Despite Saturday’s disappointment, Smith was encouraged by a winning double at Coffs Harbour last Friday with Ibini and Northern Lights.
Top Newcastle trainer Kris Lees dominated at Taree on Monday with wins from Heat Haze, Winter Sonata and Cordoned. Newcastle’s Aaron Bullock rode Winter Sonata and Heat Haze.