Randwick sprint a Premiere result for Scone racing industry

Scone-born trainer Benjamin Smith
Scone-born trainer Benjamin Smith

THE result of the $500,000 Premiere Stakes over 1200m at Randwick on Saturday, September 30, was a joyous one for the residents of the Scone region. 

It was won by In Her Time, a five-year-old mare raised in the district for the estate of the Cobcrofts, a noted pastoral family near Willow Tree, by Fred and Mary Moses at their Kanangra Park Agistment farm and is trained at Newcastle by Scone-born Benjamin Smith, a member of a prominent sporting family.

Now raced 15 times for six wins, including three Group 2s in Sydney, runner-up In the Stradbroke in Brisbane and earner of just over $1 million, In Her Time is by Time Thief, a Refoute’s Choice Zeditave Stakes winner and Caulfield Guineas second exported to South Africa in April 14, 2015, after five seasons at Darley, Hunter Valley, and from Hell It’s Hot, a Cobcroft bred Zeditave mare whose six starts included wins at Hawkesbury (1000m) and Wyong (1100m).

Zeditave is also sire of the grandam of English, the Newhaven Park bred and raced Encosta de Lago mare who was short neck second in the Premiere. 

She has won five of 19 starts and earned in excess of $2.6 million.

However, it was the Premiere Stakes third placed six-year-old Not A Single Doubt-gelding Clearly Innocent who brought more joy to Scone. 

Winner of nine of 17 appearances and another million-dollar earner, he races for breeders Cressfield Stud, Scone, and was trained up until this year’s Scone Cup carnival, one at which he romped home in the Listed Luskin Star Quality, by Greg Bennett.

Switched to Kris Lees at Newcastle, he then ran twice in Brisbane for a win in the Group1 Kingsford-Smith Cup (1300m) and a third behind Impending and In Her Time in the Stradbroke.

Clearly Innocent is one of the most-fancied candidates for The Everest (1200m), a $10 million at Randwick which supplants the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe ($7,500,000) as the world’s richest race on grass.

He looks likely to have strong opposition from the Throsbys (Woodbury Pty Ltd) of the Hunter Valley-bred and part-owned, Hawkes-trained Chautaqua. 

Foaled at Kilwinning next door to the Scone racecourse, the big grey was doing his best work at closing stages when sixth in the Premiere.

Chautauqua, a seven-year-old gelding by Encosta de Lago, has raced 30 times for 13 wins, including five Group1s, and $8,376,935, the most money earned by an Australian sprinter. 

A win in The Everest, a race carrying first money of $5,800,000 would make him the second highest earner in Australian history - behind three-time Melbourne Cup winner Makybe Diva ($14,526,690).