Houtzen makes play for MM Classic in debut sizzler
Dec 26, 2016
Houtzen lived up to the betting hype and emerged as a genuine Magic Millions contender with a dominant debut performance at Doomben.
Houtzen led, controlled the race and then sprinted home in 33.16 seconds to clock a slick overall 59.43sec, which is only 0.24sec outside Hidden Pearl’s course record.
Bookmakers immediately reacted by her slashing her quote for next month’s Magic Millions, but trainer Toby Edmonds has a possible dilemma on his hands in qualifying the filly.
The prizemoney for the win means Houtzen is only 17th in the order of entry for the 2YO Classic, with another two weeks of qualifying races still available for others hoping to make the field.
“If I had to run her again a week before the Magic Millions I would,” Edmonds said.
“That of course is conditional on how she pulls up. If we take her home and she shows any signs of having had enough, we will turn her out.
“But at this stage we want to head to the Magic Millions. It looks like she will be right on the edge of making the field, so I will monitor that and make a call closer to the time.
“I think she is very good, but I want to keep a lid on it at the moment. Things can happen quickly with two-year-olds.”
Winning rider Jeff Lloyd spoke highly of Houtzen and suggested bigger things were in store for the filly. Picture: Natasha Wood, Trackside Photography Edmonds gave $105,000 for the I Am Invincible filly from the draft of Yarraman Park Stud at this year’s Magic Millions and sold her among existing clients.
Winning rider Jeff Lloyd said Houtzen would have little trouble extending to 1200m as she has more than one string to her bow.
“Today she just pinged the lids and was too fast for them,” he said. “But in her trial, we purposely rode her in behind them and she finished it off nicely. So it doesn’t really matter to her.
“She is very relaxed now, which is a great credit to Toby and his team. She was a real handful early on, but they have just taken their time and they are going to reap the rewards now.
“She is very professional and after she pinged the lids she came back underneath me very quickly.”
News: Nathan Exelby, The Courier Mail
Images: Darren Winningham