Top Golden Slipper fancy Houtzen is among the nominations for the Group 2 $300,000 Reisling Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on Saturday.
Trainer Toby Edmonds’ first option is to run Houtzen in the $60,000 QTIS two year old Handicap over 1000m at Eagle Farm on Saturday but if the predicted wet weather arrives in Brisbane during the week, the leading Gold Coast trainer will head to Sydney to cement a spot in the Group 1 $3.5m Longines Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill on March 18.
Edmonds is also toying with the idea if nominating Houtzen for the the Group 3 $300,000 Mercedes-Benz Canberra Black Opal Stakes (1200m) at Canberra on Sunday as extra insurance.
The Australian Turf Club has extended the nomination deadline for the Reisling Stakes until 11am on Tuesday, February 28, 2017, after only eleven fillies were entered the Golden Slipper qualifier.
Houtzen became Queensland’s big hope to win the Golden Slipper when she remained undefeated from three starts with her all the way win in the $2m Jeep Magic Millions 2yo Classic (1200m) at the Gold Coast on January 14.
The I Am Invincible filly picked up just over $80,000 for winning at Doomben and the Gold Gold Coast at her two previous starts but the $1.2 million first prize cheque from her Magic Millions 2yo Classic win doesn’t come into calculations for qualifying for the Golden Slipper.
Edmonds took Houtzen to Doomben last Saturday to gallop in between races and the filly lived up to her high expectations with a brilliant gallop against stablemate Always Sacred, clocking a sizzling 33.22 second for the final 600m and rocketed to the line to record 10.28 second for the last 200m.
Houzten has not been headed in all her three races and Edmonds wanted to teach her something different and instructed jockey Jeff Lloyd to sit off Always Sacred, ridden by Jim Byrne, in the early part of the gallop.
“We have always wanted her to trail something in case she needs to be ridden that way in Sydney. That was a good gallop,” trainer Toby Edmonds told The Courier-Mail.
Llloyd said he tried to hold Houtzen up early but the brilliant filly quickly overtook Always Scared and left Byrne stranded.
“I wanted her to chase a bit more, but she just got to the other horse so quickly,” Lloyd said.
“It was a big improvement on her gallop on Tuesday where the ground was a bit soft.”
Byrne said that he couldn’t believe it when Houtzen slipped past him when he thought his horse was making good time.
“I was going pretty quick and she just went straight past me. She’s very good,” Byrne said.
Houtzen is currently on the second line of betting at $8 with Menari the Golden Slipper at Ladbokes.com.au who have Gary Portelli’s filly She Will Reign as the $3 favourite.
Early market order for the Golden Slipper at Ladbrokes.com.au: $3 She Will Reign, $8 Houtzen, Menari, $11 Catchy, Pariah, $15 Chauffeur, Veranillo, $17 Muraaqeb, Trekking, $21 Formality, From Within, Jorda, Limbo Soul, Madeenaty, $$26 or better the rest.