Houtzen Ever­est hope

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - NATHAN EXELBY

HOUTZEN is poised to build on the su­perb record of beaten Golden Slip­per favourites when she re­turns to rac­ing at the end of the month.

Trainer Toby Ed­monds is yet to lock in a spring pro­gram, other than a tilt at the $ 10 mil­lion Ever­est in Oc­to­ber.

The San Domenico Stakes on Au­gust 26 is pos­si­bly the most- fan­cied op­tion, rather than kick­ing off in Mel­bourne.

Houtzen has been back in work for the past 10 weeks as part of what Ed­monds has de­scribed as a slow build- up.

“She’s a bit stronger this time and to my eye she’s look­ing pretty sharp,” he said.

“I think third up into the Ever­est would be ideal, so it’s just a mat­ter of work­ing out which way we go to get there.”

Houtzen has been af­forded her place in the Ever­est by slot holder Aquis Farm, but Ed­monds said there was also an of­fer from an­other slot holder for the fly­ing filly.

“Aquis Farm put the of­fer to us be­cause I think they wanted a Queens­land horse in it and pro­vided she’s go­ing well at the time, it’s go­ing to be very ex­cit­ing be­ing a part of this race,” Ed­monds said.

“If the two fil­lies ( She Will Reign be­ing the other) are go­ing as good as they were in the au­tumn, they are go­ing to be aw­fully hard to beat at the weights.”

Houtzen has not raced since her fifth as the $ 4.50 favourite be­hind She Will Reign in the Golden Slip­per in March.

As a beaten Slip­per favourite, she is his­tor­i­cally well placed to go on to big­ger and bet­ter things this sea­son.

Since Gen­eral Nediym ran fourth as the hot­pot in the 1997 Slip­per, 11 beaten favourites from 15 to race have gone on to win Group 1 races as an older horse, in­clud­ing stars such as Shogun Lodge, Ex­celler­a­tor, Alinghi and Queens­lan­der Lau­rie’s Lot­tery.

The most re­cent was Ex­treme Choice, who tow­elled up older horses in last year’s Moir Stakes.

Co- trainer Paul Snow­den is hop­ing his sta­ble can se­cure two places in the Ever­est, with Doomben 10,000 win­ner Redzel, Gal­axy win­ner Rus­sian Revo­lu­tion and Blue Di­a­mond run­ner- up Pariah their lead­ing con­tenders.

“They are all tri­alling ( to­mor­row) in the first three heats,” Snow­den said on Ra­dio TAB’s Past The Post yes­ter­day.

“We have about 22 tri­alling on Tues­day and a lot of those are our car­ni­val horses.”

A de­ci­sion on Pariah’s spring path will be made af­ter he runs in the Golden Rose next month.

“Af­ter a Golden Rose prepa­ra­tion we will see if we go to a mile of the ( Caulfield) Guineas, or a freshen up and go to the Ever­est,” Snow­den said.

AIM­ING HIGH: Jeff Lloyd aboard Houtzen at the Magic Mil­lions on the Gold Coast in Jan­uary. Pic­ture: JERAD WIL­LIAMS

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