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Timely statement for Everest slot

In Her Time might have just have timed her run to perfection.

Newcastle trainer Ben Smith never envisaged the mare would be in contention for a slot in the $10 million Everest after running third in the Group One Tatt’s Tiara in June.

Yet by claiming the final audition for the world’s richest race on turf, first up, In Her Time could emerge as an even bigger winner of the Group Two Premiere Stakes at Randwick.

Smith initially pondered In Her Time’s ($4.80) effort to hold off English ($5.50) off by a short neck but with the Coolmore and Damion Flower slots still available, The Everest was soon the focus.

“She deserves a race like this, against this quality. Originally, I didn’t think I’d have her up for this day,” Smith said.

“I wanted to give her a bit longer but because she doesn’t spell well we just give her three weeks. Once we got her back going we set for this race.”

Faced with the inevitable question, Smith was evasive, momentarily.

“Ask me tomorrow … yes. Yeah, who wouldn’t?

“She got the job done today, she beat some Everest horses. Whether she can do it again two weeks and whether anyone wants her, I don’t know.”

Smith had been confident In Her Time was primed to resume in style after two trials but feared the worst as confirmed Everest starter English wound up.

Another candidate for an Everest call-up, the Kris Lees-trained Clearly Innocent ($8.50), was third in his comeback, a length off English.

Co-trainer Michael Hawkes was also bullish despite Chautauqua ceding favouritism for The Everest after he finished sixth, albeit after unleashing the fastest time over the final 200m, 11.03 seconds.

“He’s been primed for The Everest. I’m not disappointed he still went super. He’s on track. He still hit the line,” he said.

Golden Slipper winner She Will Reign, who warmed up for The Everest with a stunning late surge to score the Group One Moir Stakes (1000m) at Moonee Valley on Friday night, is favourite for the new Sydney spring carnival showpiece.

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