Murwillumbah trainer Matthew Dunn is looking...
Gold Coast trainer Toby Edmonds admits his filly Houtzen can make no mistakes as she prepares to take on a star-studded field of sprinters in the 2017 The Everest race in Sydney on Saturday.
A trio of three-year-old fillies feature among the 12 confirmed horses in the inaugural edition of the $10 million The Everest (1200m) slot-race at Royal Randwick.
One of those is the firm favourite in The Everest betting at Ladbrokes.com.au, Gary Portelli’s dual Group 1 winner She Will Reign tipped as the one to beat in the weight-for-age event.
Golden Slipper champion as a two-year-old and first-up winner at The Valley in the Group 1 Moir Stakes (1000m), She Will Reign is paying $4.80 to salute for Yu Long Investments from barrier two.
Lindsay Park’s Golden Slipper placegetter Tulip is a $61 roughie in barrier 11, while the other filly in the mix Houtzen gets the rails run from barrier one.
Edmonds’ daughter of I Am Invincible sits at $21 in The Everest odds, pretty generous according to her trainer if the She Will Reign form is to go off.
In the Group 1 $3.5 million Golden Slipper Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill back in March, Houtzen finished 5.7 lengths back fifth behind She Will Reign.
That was her first loss after she won her opening four career starts leading-up to the Slipper run in the mud where the Heavy (10) track worked against Houtzen, as did the barrier 13 of 16 draw.
“I can tell you now, if she gets a fair and even chance she’ll run well [in The Everest],” Edmonds told Racing NSW.
“And if She Will Reign is one of the chances I’m pretty confident on a fair track if we didn’t beat her in the Slipper we would have been close to her.
“I think she will finish closer to first than last.’’
Leading-up to the Golden Slipper loss, Houtzen made history carrying a record 63kg to a four length victory in a two-years-old handicap at Eagle Farm on the back of her $2 million Magic Millions Classic (1200m) win at home on the Gold Coast in January.
This time in Houtzen, who represents Aquis Farm in The Everest field, has had two starts both at Moonee Valley Racecourse.
The first saw her finish a credible third behind Russian Revolution (1st) and Heatherly (2nd) in the Group 2 McEwen Stakes (1000m) before her Moir Stakes Night win in the Group 3 MVRC Champagne Stakes (1200m).
Post-win on September 29 Edmonds admitted he was initially a little disappointed with the one length winning margin in the Champagne Stakes, but further evaluation of the run has him more confident heading into Saturday.
“In the initial stages I was disappointed, I thought the margin was only poor,” he said.
“I was critical but [jockey] Jeff [Lloyd] said ‘I could have won by as far as I wanted to win’.
“If he’d opened her up from the 600m and given her a real good gallop he said she would have smashed them.
“So I have to be guided by that.”
Saturday has Houtzen racing at Randwick for the first time, but she should enjoy getting back to WFA dropping from 56kg last start to 51kg.
That said, Edmonds knows plenty has to align for Houtzen to score the upset including the filly being on her best behaviour and the weather gods being kind.
“She can’t make a mistake,” he said.
“We need track conditions to suit, if some rain comes across we don’t want a choppy or shifty track.
“Tempo is a big thing and she will do the rest.
“If we don’t make our minds up whether we go out and run it hard we could end up in an awkward spot back on the fence, but we have a few days to work that out.”
To check out the latest The Everest 2017 odds and back Houtzen for the win at her generous price visit Ladbrokes.com.au.
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