In her Time unlikely to start in Shorts

By: Mandy Cottell Friday 20 September 2019

Graff is likely to be the sole representative for trainer Kris Lees in The Shorts with heavy rain in Sydney all but ruling In Her Time out of the race.

If she is withdrawn, she will join Santa Ana Lane and Sunlight who have both been scratched because of the wet track.

Godolphin trainer James McDonald is also weighing up whether to start Osborne Bulls and Viridine, indicating he will make a decision on race morning.

Pierata's trainer Greg Hickman is leaning towards running the horse but will also make a final decision on Saturday morning.

Lees had planned to use Saturday's 1100 metre Randwick sprint as In Her Time's sole lead-up to next month's $14 million The Everest but felt starting her first-up on a heavy track would do more harm than good.

While the Premiere Stakes (1200m) at Randwick two weeks from Saturday would be a logical back-up option, Lees said In Her Time would probably go straight to The Everest without a conditioning run.

"I'll wait until race morning but I'd say at this stage she won't run," Lees said.

"She'll go straight to the Everest.

"She's won two Group Ones first-up so it's not a problem.

"She's been in work a while and it's still a few weeks away so there's plenty of time to have her ready to race."

In Her Time was a first-up winner of the 2018 Galaxy for previous trainer Ben Smith and claimed the Group One Lightning Stakes at Flemington when she resumed for Lees in February.

Graff will get another chance to showcase his claims to an Everest recall when he steps out in The Shorts after resuming with a sterling third behind Redzel and Pierata in the Concorde Stakes.

He contested the Everest last year as a three-year-old and finished a creditable fifth but appears to have returned a stronger, more complete horse this spring.

Lees said Graff had trained on since his first-up run but stopped short of predicting he could upstage Redzel and Pierata on a heavy track.

"He's handled soft ground so I expect him to race well," Lees said.

"But the two horses who beat him the other day are really good on soft ground so whether he can turn the tables we'll see, but I'm pleased with the horse."

Graff has been Group Two placed on a heavy track and the only time he failed badly in the conditions was in The Galaxy in March when Lees said other factors were to blame.

Randwick was a heavy 9 on Friday and track officials are hoping it can improve at least one point 8 by race day.