Houtzen to bounce back in Cool­more

The Sportsman Weekend - - News - MATT JONES

TOBY Edmonds has been on a wild ride on late and it will con­tinue in to­mor­row’s Group 1 $1m Cool­more Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flem­ing­ton.

The Gold Coast trainer takes Houtzen and Ep­ti­mum to the straight six sprint off very dif­fer­ent form­lines.

Houtzen has al­ways been his sta­ble star since win­ning the Magic Mil­lions 2YO Clas­sic and she’s com­ing off a cred­i­ble sev­enth in The Ever­est.

“She’s been great. She came through Ever­est run re­ally well. had a week out then came back into the sta­bles last Sun­day and is in good or­der,” Edmonds said.

“In a high pres­sure race like that she was a bit of a sit­ting duck, es­pe­cially in­side an older, sea­soned horse like Redzel.”

Edmonds is look­ing for­ward to test­ing her against her own age again after tak­ing on the coun­try’s best sprint­ers last start.

It’s a bit like play­ing first grade and com­ing back to re­serves grade for Houtzen to­mor­row, al­though it is a qual­ity field of three-year- olds in­clud­ing Golden Rose win­ner Trapeze Artist and the un­de­feated Godol­phin colt Viri­dine.

“She’s had a good ex­pe­ri­ence against good, hard­ened Group 1 sprint­ers so that will hold her in good stead for the fu­ture,” Edmonds said.

“It (com­ing back to her own age) fits in well. There’s no way a three­year- old filly would have raced against those horses with­out The Ever­est con­cept.

“It’s like any young sports­man. They take good ex­pe­ri­ence out of tak­ing on bet­ter com­pany then com­ing back to their own grade and she’ll run re­ally well on Satur­day.”

Edmonds will also sad­dle up sur­prise run­ner Ep­ti­mum after he trav­elled down to Mel­bourne as more of a travel com­pan­ion Houtzen with the plan run­ning in a few lower grade races.

But he went so well in them the Edmonds put him in last week­end’s Group 3 Red An­chor Stakes and he won that by three lengths, prompt­ing the trainer to give him a crack at a Group 1.

“A lot of peo­ple are say­ing that he was more of a travel com­pan­ion and it’s prob­a­bly a fair call but he fit­ted the Vic­to­rian model and we ran him in a cou­ple of bonus races to start with,” Edmonds said.

“Once he got them out of the road and won quite com­fort­ably we de­cided to give him a run last Satur­day and there’s one Group 1 race for three-year- old’s left in the spring and he de­serves his chance.”

De­spite be­ing un­known a few weeks ago, Edmonds has al­ways held the Snitzel geld­ing in high re­gard.

“He and Houtzen have done all their work to­gether as year­lings and this prepa­ra­tion there’s been very lit­tle be­tween them on the track,” he said.

“He’s learnt a lot and it’s a bonus of hav­ing a filly of her qual­ity at home to get bench­mark off.” Mean­while Godol­phin trainer James Cum­mings said he’d love to see Viri­dine re­main un­beaten and win the prized breed­ers race.

“He’s a very fast colt and we’ve been de­lighted with his train­ing. He comes into this third up and ready to hit an ab­so­lute peak. He needs to have gone ahead if he’s go­ing to be win­ning, but we feel like he’s done that,” Cum­mings said.

Tony Edmonds is con­fi­dent Houtzen will bounce back against her own age in the Cool­more Stud Stakes.

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