Houtzen set to step up
But it’s the comments made by Lloyd that has really built expectations for today’s return by the flying Gold Coast threeyear-old.
“Jeff has been very positive. He’s given us a lot of confidence,” Casey said.
“He rode her in a track gallop the opposite way before she flew down and thinks she’s going to be very hard to beat.”
Like her Golden Slipper and Magic Millions starts, Houtzen has drawn close to the outside in the 1000m sprint, something Casey has suggested his trainer do something about.
“I’ve told Toby he needs to go to church on Sunday and appease the barrier gods because we don’t seem to be going too well at the moment,” he said.
Casey is fully aware Houtzen’s spring campaign will be tougher than anything she has faced in her career.
“We’re taking on some of the best sprinters there is. It’s a huge notch up and she will be tested for sure,” he said.
“Going on the opposite way and with the barrier, there’s a fair bit against us and I guess that’s why Toby’s trying to be conservative.”
Casey and his co-owners have sold 10 per cent of Houtzen to Aquis Farm since the Slipper, with Aquis securing Houtzen for its slot in $10 million The Everest (1200m) at Randwick in October.
“The guys in this horse with me have been racing as a group for 20 years and the best we’ve had before her was a Saturday off-season handicapper,” Casey said.
“The Everest is beyond our wildest dreams.”
Gold Coast trainer Toby Edmonds with Houtzen in Melbourne.