Kris Lees welcomes Smith’s stars into the fold
BEN Smith's two Group 1 winners, In Her Time and El Dorado Dreaming, were handed over to fellow Newcastle trainer Kris Lees on Wednesday to allow them to continue their spring campaigns while Smith faces a lengthy ban.
Racing NSW stewards approved the transfer just 24 hours after they suspended Smith's trainer's licence. Smith had refused to give evidence and gave false evidence when his stables were raided on Tuesday morning.
Stewards were following up two swab irregularities at the time and found a number of unlabelled and unregistered substances in bottles at his stable and in his car and house.
Lees said The Everest-bound In Her Time would still have a scheduled track gallop between races at Newcastle on Friday.
"I talked to Ben and he gave me a bit of an understanding (of their programs) and Cameren Swan, who works for me, rides both of them in trackwork so that makes the transition a little easier," Lees said.
El Dorado Dreaming's spring plans are still on track. She will take on new stablemate Miss Fabulass in the Group 2 Tea Rose Stakes at Randwick on Saturday.
Lees said it wasn't the ideal circumstances to be gaining new horses but he had an obligation to the owners.
"Someone has to take them and the owners deserve their horses going to the races and someone has to get them there," Lees said.
"I've obviously seen a lot of In Her Time right from the start and I've seen all of El Dorado Dreaming's runs, too, and we won't be changing the program that they had set up."
Smith lodged an appeal against the indefinite suspension on Tuesday night.
Meanwhile, star filly Pure Elation won't race again this spring after suffering a knee injury.
Pure Elation had won her past three starts, including the Group 2 Percy Sykes Stakes and Group 2 Furious Stakes.