Toby Edmonds weighs up Gold Coast hitout to guarantee Houtzen’s MM spot

Jan 05, 2017

Toby Edmonds is leaning towards a start for Houtzen at the Gold Coast on Saturday, with any prizemoney assuring her of a Magic Millions start and providing an important hitout.

Houtzen holds the final spot in the 16-horse field, but can be leapfrogged by runners in races in Sydney and the Gold Coast on Saturday.

Edmonds on Wednesday said any prizemoney would assure the filly of a start on January 14.

He also believed another start would give her the necessary experience and race fitness to handle the Magic Millions pressure a week later.

“It’s only a walk across the road and if she can’t beat these horses, she may as well not be running the week after,” Edmonds said. “She is going to need a good hitout at some stage before the Magic Millions and (Saturday’s) race is sitting there.

“Plus the Magic Millions is a high-pressure race and if we don’t run Saturday, she will be going in three weeks between runs.”

Edmonds said Houtzen has continued to do everything right since her scorching debut at Doomben last month.

Speculation on the make-up of the field is at fever pitch and one media outlet on Wednesday indicated favourite From Within would not run, before correcting the statement.

Trainer Chris Waller moved quickly to stamp out speculation, reaffirming that a decision won’t be made until after the filly gallops on Thursday and again at the weekend.

Fellow Magic Millions fancy Single Bullet was an acceptor for Warwick Farm on Saturday, but trainer Gary Portelli was not committed to a start.

The colt is 17th in the order and would likely need two to drop out to make the field unless he ran and earned prizemoney on Saturday.

Inspections have begun on the Gold Coast for buyers seeking next year’s Magic Millions winner.

MM graduates have had another stellar year, with the world’s highest-rated turf horse Winx the flag-bearer. Other MM graduates to star in the past 12 months have included Black Heart Bart, Global Glamour, Awesome Rock, Palentino, Capitalist, Tarzino and Buffering.

 News: Nathan Exelby, The Courier Mail