Newcastle trainer Ben Smith has declared In Her Time is in the prime of her racing life as she zeros in on an elusive Group One win at Rosehill.
The rejuvenated mare resumes in Saturday's Galaxy (1100m) after recovering from hoof issues stemming from a narrow loss to Hey Doc in the Group One Manikato Stakes at Moonee Valley in October.
She was buffeted and lost a plate before being pipped by a head.
"The foot sort of fell to pieces. The hoof wall was soft and a weak point for her, so we had to cut it all back and let it regrow nice and strong," Smith said.
The enforced lay-off also allowed In Her Time to recover from some other minor ailments and add about 30 kilograms to her frame.
"She's probably had niggles for 12 to 18 months so the break is probably the best thing that ever happened to her," Smith said.
He was initially concerned when she bulked up but her work and a soft trial at Newcastle earlier this month erased those concerns.
"I was wondering how she'd handle being heavier on those feet and joints but she's just bigger and stronger. She's got a lovely big hind quarter, chest and shoulder on her now," Smith said.
During her lay-off Smith had the Group One TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick earmarked as her goal but a quicker than anticipated return presents the five-year-old with another opportunity to break her Group One duck.
In Her Time was the $3.70 favourite with the TAB on Friday but Smith was taking nothing for granted given she was also denied the Group One Stradbroke Handicap by a neck last June after travelling wide throughout.
"She deserves a Group one. Bad luck seems to be the killer for us," he said.
Smith nominated wet track specialist Jungle Edge, the $4 second elect, as the main danger while the track was another potential drawback.
Rosehill was classified in the heavy range on Friday. In Her Time has raced five times on a soft surface with one success in last year's Group Two Millie Fox Stakes.
Corey Brown's suspension means Hong Kong-based Zac Purton will ride.
"Corey will have a chat to Zac but she's pretty bomb-proof. It's just a matter of getting some cover before she has the last crack at them," Smith said.
- Smaller Small Medium Big Bigger
- Default Helvetica Segoe Georgia Times
- Reading Mode