Toby Edmonds says Houtzen can go on to win Group 1 sprints as a three-year-old

Houtzen (right) finishes fifth in the Golden Slipper. Photo: Jenny Evans.

Houtzen (right) finishes fifth in the Golden Slipper. Photo: Jenny Evans.

 

GOLD Coast trainer Toby Edmonds believes Houtzen can win a Group 1 sprint as a three-year-old when the filly returns for a second campaign.

Houtzen will spend up to eight weeks in the paddock after the Magic Millions 2YO Classic winner ended her first preparation with a fifth placing as favourite in the $3.5 million Golden Slipper at Rosehill on Saturday.

Edmonds will then set Houtzen for a Melbourne spring campaign where a Group 1 win is the goal.

“She will improve sharply off this preparation and I’m pretty sure she can win one of those Group 1 three-year-old sprints so we will aim at those and see what happens,” ­Edmonds said.

“It will depend on how she comes back but if she comes back OK we will go to Melbourne for the spring but if not we will work it out from there.”

Houtzen entered the Golden Slipper unbeaten from four starts. All 15 of the two-year-old’s owners joined about 100 Edmonds family, friends and supporters at Rosehill as the filly chased the $2 million first prize

Houtzen led the field after getting across from her wide barrier but was mowed down by winner She Will Reign in the straight as the heavy track brought the Gold Coast sprinter undone.

Edmonds was gutted about the track but remained proud of Houtzen’s run in a race that claimed many other classy horses.

“I’m proud she ran as good as she did but gutted the track ended up like it did because it put a lot of them out of play,” Edmonds said.

“She tried as hard as she could. The track was bottomless so it probably took care of most of them.

“A lot of the fitter horses that finished in front of her ran two weeks prior on those heavy tracks so they handled it a bit better.”

Edmonds admitted he was left wondering what could have been had the field been given a dry track.

“She still gave it a good kick at the top of the straight and she just couldn’t sustain it in that going,” Edmonds said.

“It was a bit unfortunate.”

The run took a toll on Houtzen and Edmonds has ruled out racing the filly in the Sires Produce Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on April 1.

“She has pulled up very jaded,” Edmonds said.

“She had a bit of a temperature so we have got to monitor that and keep an eye on it but she has pulled up a bit worse for wear.”

Houtzen’s jockey Jeff Lloyd was suspended on a careless riding charge after the Slipper and will miss the next two Saturday meetings.

His suspension begins on Thursday.

Story courtesy Tom Boswell Gold Coast Bulletin.

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