Wet weather to influence Houtzen return in Golden Slipper build-up
AS Toby Edmonds weighs up the best option for Houtzen, this weekend will mark the first serious test of the Magic Millions form, with all placegetters slotted to return.
Third-placed Madeenaty will run up the straight at Flemington, while runner-up Chauffeur is scheduled to resume in the Todman, where he will clash with stablemate Menari.
Edmonds is on weather watch for Houtzen and if Eagle Farm looks like being wet, he will switch to Canberra’s Black Opal on Sunday.
The forecast is for showers every day this week in Brisbane, with the heaviest falls tipped for Monday and Tuesday. Canberra is tipped to be mostly fine before showers arrive on Friday and Saturday.
Handicappers have indicated Houtzen will receive at least 61kg for the Eagle Farm race.
Houtzen needs to earn more prizemoney to assure herself a place in the Golden Slipper field, as her MM prizemoney does not count in the order of entry as it came in a sales restricted race.
If Houtzen headed to Canberra, rivals would include Lindsay Park’s impressive Moonee Valley debut winner Muraaqeb and possibly Jukebox, who was a controversial scratching from the Blue Diamond.
Lindsay Park’s Catchy and Formality will both head next start to the Golden Slipper.
River dance makes Pinch’s punch a KO
ROB Heathcote praised his farrier Sheldon Devantier after Pinch River made a stunning return to racing with a five lengths Doomben win on Saturday.
“He’s a genuine stakes class horse, but he’s had a lifetime of hoof injuries,’’ Heathcote said.
‘‘Every time he gets a quarter crack we have to give him another lengthy break.
“Sheldon got him to this point and Rob O’Leary has also been a great help with daily hoof work.
“He’s a very good horse if I can keep him sound.”
Staying in the zone
TYZONE lived right up to his eye-catching recent Eagle Farm effort to trounce older horses in fast time.
New trainer Lawrie Mayfield-Smith has Cleveland Bay Handicap ambitions for Tyzone later in the year.
It was a walk down memory lane for Mayfield-Smith, who trains the horse for long-time Cairns Jockey Club chairman Tom Hedley. Tyzone was switched from Atherton trainer Roy Chillemi to give him his chance in the city.
“We’ve been mates for 60 years,” Mayfield-Smith said.
It was a big finish to the program for those that follow the Central and North Queensland form.
Krystle Johnston’s Craiglea Wandoo knocked his favourite backers for six when he overhauled Sheiswhatsheis in the final event, coming off placings in Mackay and Rockhampton this campaign.
Sun shining on coast club
SUNSHINE Coast Turf Club chief executive Mick Sullivan will retire in August, after more than 17 years in the position.
Sullivan is credited with turning the financial position of the club around and in the words of chairman Peter Boyce, “jealously guarded” and “gone into battle” for the club during his tenure.
Meanwhile, the Gold Coast Turf Club has appointed Gold Coast City Council Deputy Mayor Donna Gates to its board of directors, replacing Heydon Harvey, who stepped down after five years.
Story courtesy Nathan Exelby – Brisbane Courier Mail