Brilliant filly Houtzen could be restrained from a wide barrier in a bid to avoid a speed battle with the hot favourite Redzel in the Group 1 $700,000 Kirin Doomben 10,000 (1200m) at Doomben today.
The Peter and Paul Snowden trained Redzel will jump from gate five following the scratching of Lucky Hussler because of a foot abscess while Houtzen will jump from the outside barrier in the thirteen horse field with the blinkers on for the first time.
Houtzen is best known for her speed out of the gates and her silver and black colours are usually found leading the field up but trainer Toby Edmonds is hinting that the I Am Invincible filly might try and slot in just behind the pace.
“Do we get to see another dimension with Houtzen on Saturday … maybe we do?” Edmonds told Racenet.
“I think it would be (horseracing) suicide to rush her up and try to lead from that barrier, with plenty of speed underneath her.
“One thing I can say is that she is absolutely flying.”
Redzel is also a noted front running and had no trouble leading all of the way to win the 2017 Doomben 10,000 with Jim Byrne aboard.
Melbourne Cup winning jockey Kerrin McEvoy has been Redzel’s regular rider since and was aboard when he sat at Houtzen’s girth when she set the pace in the early and middle stages of The Everest (1200m) at Randwick in October last year before Redzel went on to claim the major part of the $10 million that was on offer while Houtzen scrambled home in seventh spot.
Houtzen was back in the winner’s stall with a victory against the three year old fillies in the Group 3 $200,000 The Man Shake P J Bell Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on day one of The Championships on April 7 before finishing sixth at her latest outing in the Group 2 $600,000 Arrowfield 3yo Sprint (1200m) at Randwick the following week.
Redzel has had three runs during the Autumn Carnival prior to heading to Queensland for a first up second in the Group 1 $750,000 Black Caviar Lightning (1000m) at Flemington, a win in the Group 2 $500,000 Hyland Race Colours Challenge Stakes (1000m) at Randwick and a second to Trapeze Artist in the Group 1 $2.5m Darley T J Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick.
“I think he is (going as well),” McEvoy told The Courier-Mail.
“He still retains all his enthusiasm and he looks great. Trapeze Artist was the victor in the TJ and he can put together a good effort when he’s on song that horse and I didn’t lose any admiration for Redzel getting beaten the other day.”
There is certain to be a lot of pressure on up front in this year’s Doomben 10,000 with Monsieur Gustave, Burning Passion and Thronum all showing plenty of speed in recent outings.
Redzel sits at top of the Doomben 10,000 market order at $2.45 at Ladbrokes.com.au while Houtzen is marked as a $31 chance.