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  • Provincial Racing NSW


BEN Smith clinched a Group 1 breakthrough with the classy In Her Time in The Galaxy at Rosehill Gardens in 2018.

Six years on from a new base at Kembla Grange, he is hoping to repeat the feat with a lightly-raced three-year-old filly who is yet to be tested at racing’s elite level.

Smith has set West Of Dalby an ambitious autumn program, which may also be extended to include the Brisbane winter carnival.

A $115,000 Inglis Classic yearling sale graduate in 2022, the appropriately named daughter of Santos and Chinchilla (Chinchilla is 80km west of Dalby in Queensland’s Western Downs) has raced only eight times for three wins.

She added black type to her resume at her last start when she upset favorite Abounding in the Listed Mode Plate (1200m) at Doomben on December 2.

Abounding is unbeaten from two subsequent starts, culminating with the $3 Magic Millions 3YO Guineas (1400m) at the Gold Coast on January 13.

Smith gave West Of Dalby a short break after her Doomben victory at $21, and is thrilled with how she has returned and is shaping up for the autumn.

Ridden by race jockey Brock Ryan, she won a 900m Group trial on the course proper at Rosehill Gardens last Thursday, despite being the widest runner in the six-horse trial.

West Of Dalby clocked 54.55 seconds (the last 600m in 34.27secs) and defeated last year’s Group 1 Rosehill Guineas winner Lindermann and Red Resistance, who was beaten only once in three starts last season as a two-year-old, and was a late withdrawal from the Golden Slipper Stakes because of an elevated temperature.

The trial also included Group 1 winner Zougotcha, dual Group 1 placegetter Buenos Noches (who ran in last year’s The Everest), and last year’s Silver Eagle winner Vienna Princess.

“I’ve liked this filly from the first time I started training her,” Smith said of West Of Dalby.

“She has come back even better after her little break, and trialled super at Rosehill.

“She will trial again next Monday, and then will be ready to go back to the races.”

Smith intends to resume West Of Dalby against her own sex in the $300,000 Group 2 Light Fingers Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on February 17.

“After the Light Fingers, she will go to Melbourne for the $750,000 Inglis Sprint (1200m) at Flemington a fortnight later,” he said.

“West Of Dalby will come home after that race and has a gap of three weeks before The Galaxy.”

The $1m The Galaxy (1100m) will be run at Rosehill on the same program as the $5m Golden Slipper.

Provided Smith’s filly continues to hold her form, the $1m Group 2 Arrowfield Sprint (1200m) for three-year-olds at Randwick on April 13 during The Championships is also on the agenda.

Smith, who was training at Broadmeadow when In Her Time won The Galaxy (ridden by Zac Purton), gained a second Group 1 a fortnight later when roughie El Dorado Dreaming landed the Sires (1400m) at Randwick; In Her Time ran third to Trapeze Artist in the Group 1 TJ Smith (1200m) on the same program.

Smith also ran second with In Her Time in the 2017 Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap, normally run over 1400m at Eagle Farm but held at Doomben that year and run at 1350m.

“Obviously everything will hinge on West Of Dalby’s performances during the autumn, but there is a chance we might go to Brisbane and have a crack at the Stradbroke,” he said.

Smith won his 12th race this season and took his career tally to 88 when Outakandy scored easily at Wyong yesterday.

The lightly-raced Outreach three-year-old has now his last two starts, having also been successful in a Midway Maiden Plate (1300m) on his home track on January 13.

Leading apprentice Zac Lloyd partnered Outakandy in his authoritative victory in a Midway Class 1 Handicap (1600m) at Wyong as a $1.45 hotpot.

. Newcastle trainers Jason Deamer and David Atkins each won a race at the Tuncurry meeting today.

Deamer scored with $1.40 favorite Shigeru (Ash Morgan), and Atkins with $6 chance Rockbarton Fashion (Christian Reith), now unbeaten from two starts.

Story John Curtis, January 29, 2024 - Pics Bradley Photos


















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