Lees Mare On Trial for Hong Kong

Hong Kong is on the agenda if In Her Time can bounce back in tomorrow’s $2m Group 1 Darley Sprint Classic (1200m) at Flemington.

IN HER TIME winning the Black Caviar Lightning during Melbourne Racing at Flemington in Melbourne, Australia.
IN HER TIME winning the Black Caviar Lightning during Melbourne Racing at Flemington in Melbourne, Australia. Picture: (Vince Caligiuri/Getty Images)

Melbourne's gloomy weather forecast hasn't dimmed Kris Lees' confidence that she can turn around her first-up defeat in The Everest (1200m) at Royal Randwick on October 19 – as she did last year.

"Flemington is a great drying track, so that shouldn't be a problem if the rain arrives," Lees said this morning.

"In Her Time  arrived in Melbourne midweek and is in great order.

"She loves the straight course, and I'm expecting her to run well.

"Provided she does, there's every chance she will get an invite to Hong Kong for the International meeting, and we're keen to go."

In Her Time is one of seven Australian entries for the KH$20m International Sprint (1200m) at Sha Tin on December 8.

Darley Sprint Classic favorite Santa Ana Lane (The Everest runner-up) and second favorite Nature Strip (fourth in The Everest) are amongst the nominations.

In Her Time tackled the $14m The Everest first-up and finished ninth to three-year-old Yes Yes Yes, but stewards reported she hung out on the home turn and then became unbalanced in an incident near the 200m.

She was narrowly beaten by Santa Ana Lane in last year's Darley Sprint Classic after finishing seventh to Redzel in The Everest on a heavy track, then resumed in the autumn by winning the Group 1 Lightning Stakes (1000m) on the Flemington straight track on February 19.

Brenton Avdulla rode In Her Time in her recent Everest run, and stays aboard tomorrow.

Lees is backing up last Tuesday's Flemington runner-up Aliferous (Avdulla) in the Group 2 Matriarch Stakes (2000m); which he won four years ago with Lucia Valentina.

"She ran really well on Tuesday at 1700m, and the extra trip is in her favour," Lees said.

"I feel she will back up okay, and any rain won't disadvantage her."

Lees other Flemington representatives on the final day of the Flemington carnival are Red Cardinal (Hugh Bowman) in the Group 3 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2600m) and Regimental Band (Avdulla) in the Listed Springtime Stakes (1400m).

Red Cardinal finished an excellent fourth, after being held up on straightening, to subsequent Melbourne Cup placegetter Prince Of Arran in the Geelong Cup (2400m) on October 23.

"I would have perhaps preferred a little bigger gap between races for him, but the give in the ground will definitely help him," Lees said.

"It's a test for Regimental Band, but I'm sure she is now looking for 1400m and expect her to run well."

. Melbourne Cup disappointment Mustajeer won't race again this spring.

"The muddling pace clearly didn't suit him, but he knew he had been in a race afterwards," Lees said.

"We'll give him a break and look ahead to Sydney in the autumn."

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