Flying Queensland filly Houtzen has re-ignited her winning two year old form with a gutsy win in the Group 3 $200,000 The Man Shake P J Bell Stakes (1200m) on day one of The Championships at Randwick today.
Back to three year old fillies grade, Houtzen was able to sit on the speed from barrier eight and fight off all of the challengers in the straight to record a welcomed return to the winner’s stall.
Winning jockey Glyn Schofield was having his second ride on the Toby Edmonds trained filly after the pair finished third last start in the Listed $125,000 Fireball Stakes (1100m) at Randwick on March 10.
Schofield had Houtzen ($8.50) stalking the leader, Debonairly ($81), and she responded bravely in the straight when the challengers came at her all the way down the straight.
Runner up Manicure ($21) edged to with a head of Houtzen but the I Am Invincible filly had plenty in reserve to pull away to record a neck win with Problem Solver ($15) in third position.
Houtzen was the star two year old in her early juvenile season which culminated with an all the way win in the 2017 $2m Magic Millions 2yo Classic (1200m) at the Gold Coast.
The filly had one win from four start during the 2017 Spring Carnival and Edmonds was happy to see back in the winner’s stall today.
“We knew we had her quite underdone when we came here a month ago, we took her home and really stuck a bit of work into her and you could see today she looked super,” Edmonds said.
“We could not have had her looking any better, her work has been great at home and a great ride.”
“There were doubts there if she was a genuine type. Being a precocious two year old it is always difficult to come back and we are just so happy for all of the owners.”
Following her win in today’s P J Bell Stakes, bookies at Ladbrokes.com.au have shortened her up to be marked at $13 for the Group 2 $600,000 Arrowfield 3yo Sprint (1200m) at Randwick next Saturday.