By Ray Hickson
With In Her Time safely locked into Inglis’ TAB Everest slot, trainer Kris Lees says there’s no reason stablemate Graff couldn’t join her in the $14 million feature later this year.
The pair were among three sprinters, the other Le Romain, in the 2018 edition and Graff’s effort to run fifth at just his sixth start served notice he’s a horse of the future.
Both In Her Time and Graff are back in work with Lees and will likely be seeing plenty of each other in the build up to The Everest.
Lees said he’s rapt to have In Her Time confirmed for owners Peter Brown and Orbis Bloodstock, who purchased a 50 per cent share in the rising seven-year-old.
“She’s had light preparations throughout her career and I think she will come back as well as ever,’’ Lees said.
“I think we have a pretty good handle on her, she doesn’t take a great deal of work once she gets fit.
“She’s just a quality mare, I hope we get a reasonable surface come Everest Day. I think that was her downfall last year but she bounced out of it though.’’
Inglis was represented, somewhat ironically, last year by Santa Ana Lane who is TAB’s runner in 2019. In Her Time ran in TAB’s slot in 2018.
Orbis Bloodstock’s Paul King said the connections are thrilled to be in The Everest mix with Inglis following the decision to invest in her.
“In Her Time has proven herself capable of beating the best sprinters in the land on her day,’’ the former jockey said.
“In winning the Lightning two starts ago she beat the likes of Osborne Bulls, Sunlight and Graff – three horses she may well come up against on Everest Day again.
“And when running a narrow second to Santa Ana Lane in the VRC Sprint the start prior she left horses such as Redzel, Pierata, Spright, Brave Smash and internationals Jungle Cat, US Navy Flag and Fleet Review in her wake.
“Kris is confident he will get the mare to peak on Everest Day and if Kris has that belief and confidence, we’re happy to share in that with him.’’
Inglis managing director Mark Webster said In Her Time is a perfect example of an Inglis product given she was sold at the Classic Sale and her sire Time Thief was an Easter graduate.
“This mare is already a multiple G1 winner, she’s a star of the track, she’s represented the company with distinction for many years now and we can’t wait to team up with her ahead of and for The Everest,’’ Webster said.
In Her Time will likely resume in the Group 2 The Shorts (1100m) at Randwick on September 21 and then into the Group 2 Premiere Stakes (1200m) two weeks later.
NEWS: It is with great excitement we announce our slot runner for the 2019 #TheEverest, to be run at Randwick @atc_races on Saturday October 19. @racing_nsw @Racing @SkyRacingAU @7horseracing @superracing @dailybailey10 @dailytelegraph @orbisbloodstock @Leesracing pic.twitter.com/yAVnvgbk86
— Inglis (@inglis_sales) May 31, 2019
“The beauty of being locked in early is you can set your plan and stick to it,’’ Lees said.
Graff actually has a 2-1 scoreline in his favour in his three clashes with In Her Time.
They ran fifth and seventh in The Everest then In Her Time won the Lightning in February with Graff fourth while in the Newmarket Graff finished fourth again with In Her Time in sixth.
If he’s not picked up between now and his resumption Lees said he won’t be afraid to throw him in against In Her Time in The Shorts.
“I’ll do what’s best for each horse, you like to keep them apart but they may clash. If it means clashing so be it,’’ he said.
“I think he’d be a major player if he was given the opportunity.
“He’ll be up and going early enough so if anyone wants him he’ll be there on show.’’