Thursday’s $100,000 Provincial Championship qualifier at Gosford was not always on In Her Time’s agenda, but trainer Benjamin Smith admits it is a pretty good ‘plan B’ for the filly by Time Thief.
Originally passed in at the 2014 Inglis Classic Yearling Sale, In Her Time was leased to Smith’s loyal stable client, Peter Brown.
She has plenty of ability, but has had a lot of bad luck in her previous startsBenjamin Smith
“She was passed in at the sales and we were lucky to have her leased by Peter who has also retained a share,” Smith said. “She has plenty of ability, but has had a lot of bad luck in her previous starts.”
The previous starts Smith refers to were the group two Tea Rose Stakes and Listed Fireball Stakes, both stakes races at Royal Randwick against elite opposition.
In the Tea Rose, In Her Time had a cardiac anomaly that forced her to finish last (of 10) runners by 27 lengths.
She was subsequently spelled for five months and ran an eye-catching trial behind Ghisoni and Aussies Love Sport. However, in her first-up effort, In Her Time missed the start in the Fireball.
“She missed the kick and being an on-pace runner you can’t do that at Randwick. Otherwise I was confident of a good showing that day.”
Despite missing the start, In Her Time still managed to run on nicely for ninth with Smith now believing the filly will see out the 1400m trip out at Royal Randwick, providing she qualifies on Thursday.
“She has definitely matured and should be more competitive next Thursday. She was originally going to be accepted for the Darby Munro this Saturday but we opted to focus on the Provincial Championships.”
Smith also stated he’s willing to take advantage of the Provincial Championships rules. Unlike the Country Championships where horses are restricted by region and if not qualified can only compete at the ‘Wild Card’ at Muswellbrook, Provincial regional runners that are not qualified are eligible to run in more than one qualifier at another meeting.
“If she were to run a nice race and not qualify for the Provincial Championship final, we would absolutely consider running her next week at Hawkesbury on March 31.”
Gosford is the second last chance to qualify for the $400,000 Provincial Championships final at Royal Randwick on Saturday April 9.
Runners who have been placed 1st, 2nd or 3rd automatically qualify for the event. The Provincial Championships has a total prize pool of $900,000 across five weeks.
“The Provincial Championships is a great idea and I’ve definitely noticed more competitive fields this year compared to 2015. I do think there is room to improve, but it is still only a young concept.”
- Matthew Corban was raised at New Zealand’s renowned nursery, Cambridge Stud. He came to Australia and joined Racing NSW as a writer after two years at New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing. thechampionships.com.au