Houtzen Everest hope
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.