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Just five spots remain in the 2017 The Everest field next month and Newcastle’s Benjamin Smith is letting luck play a part in whether or not his smart mare In Her Time gains a start in the $10 million feature.
News this week that Darren Weir’s Japanese import Brave Smash will fill the Australian Turf Club’s slot in the $10 million The Everest (1200m) when the Restricted event takes place for the first time at Randwick on October 14 means there are now seven confirmed runners.
There are only a dozen positions in total for the newest edition to the Sydney Spring Racing Carnival, The Everest race sure to steal the spotlight away from Melbourne and the running of the Ladbrokes Caulfield Guineas on the same day.
Saturday week a crucial lead-up race for horses yet to lock-in a start in The Everest will play out at Royal Randwick on Epsom Handicap Day when the Group 2 $500,000 Premiere Stakes (1200m) takes place.
Already Kris Lees said he would kick off the spring campaign of his Group 1 winner Clearly Innocent in the 2017 Premiere Stakes looking to gain the horse a The Everest start.
Now fellow Broadmeadow-based horseman Smith will look to do the same with his daughter of Time Thief.
“A lot will ride on the Premiere Stakes being a fortnight out from the race,” Smith told Racing NSW after watching In Her Time win a Rosehill trial by nearly four lengths over 900m on Tuesday morning.
“If we can win or run well I’m sure it will open up a few doors.
“She’s come back in good order, we’ll just wait and see how she goes and if there’s an opportunity for her we’re more than happy to go around.
“They’re all good horses, there’s not much between them and it’s just going to be luck on the day.”
In Her Time hasn’t raced since her brave third when only a length beaten by the winner Tycoon Tara at Doomben on June 24 in the Group 1 Tattersall’s Tiara (1400m).
That capped off a consistent winter bid in Brisbane for the talented mare who also finished a quarter-length second to Impending in the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1350m) and ran three lengths back fifth first-up to one of the top The Everest fancies Redzel in the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1200m).
To date In Her Time has won five of her 14 career starts including the Group 2 Breeders Classic (1200m) – Group 2 Millie Fox Stakes (1300m) double back in February.
She has a 50% winning strike rate from four previous runs when fresh that Smith hopes she can add to when resuming in the Premiere Stakes.
“If she gets an Everest start she will go there but if not we will bypass and go to the Manikato,” Smith said.
The Group 1 $1 million Ladbrokes Manikato Stakes (1200m) runs at Moonee Valley on Cox Plate Eve, Friday October 27, and In Her Time is at $11 in pre-field markets for the sprint through race sponsor Ladbrokes.com.au.
The bookmakers at Ladbrokes.com.au don’t figure In Her Time will play a role in The Everest with the mare unlisted in all-in odds on the weight-for-age sprint.
Currently six runners, only three of which are confirmed to run, sit at single-figures in the markets including the $5 favourite Chautauqua.
The other horses to have secured a slot so far under $10 for the win are the aforementioned Redzel ($6.50) and Golden Slipper Stakes winning filly She Will Reign ($8).
Lindsay Park’s Memsie Stakes winner Vega Magic ($5.50), Gerald Ryan’s Golden Rose Stakes favourite this weekend Menari ($6.50) and impressive sprinter Redkirk Warrior ($7.50) are the other unconfirmed fancies the bookies are taking no early chances with.
Smith is also looking further ahead to Flemington’s Melbourne Cup Carnival with In Her Time to possibly line-up down the straight on November 11 in the Group 1 $1 million Darley Classic (1200m).
To back In Her Time next race and to access all the upcoming Sydney and Melbourne Group 1 spring races head to Ladbrokes.com.au today.
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