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Houtzen Hums Towards Golden Slipper

By Brad Gray

Toby Edmonds has declared that his unbeaten filly Houtzen is in the best shape of her short career ahead of Saturday’s $3.5m Longines Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill.

The Gold Coast-based trainer drew out barrier 16 for his filly at today’s draw but she will come into 14 if the three emergencies come out.

“The barrier makes us more hopeful than confident right now but with a barrier we’d have been confident,” said Edmonds.

“I was quite confident in the Magic Millions even though she drew poorly. Jeff (Lloyd) was on his game and controlled it.

“I think she is probably going better now than what she was before the Magic Millions. She is in a good spot.”

On the back of the wide draw, the speedy daughter of I Am Invincible drifted from $4 to $4.40 with TAB. When markets first opened she was posted at $50.

In her last two outings Houtzen has jumped from barrier 16 and barrier 9 but displayed brilliant early toe to motor across and take up the running.

“She’s got great gate speed. We can punch forward and see where we get to in the run.”

“(Wide draws are) nothing new! She knows where she is going. It’s up to Jeff now. He suits these types of on speed horses.

“She travelled Sunday and got here in the afternoon. She settled in and had a gallop around Rosehill this morning to have a look around.”

It has been an unconventional preparation for Houtzen with the filly lumping 63kg at Eagle Farm in a two-year-old handicap as a final tune up for the Slipper.

“We did dodge a heavy track (in the Riesling) but it’s a really testing track at Eagle Farm right now. It hasn’t settled down. It was a tougher run than you’d think.”

“She has come through it well though and she handled the track. She gets a big weight relief from her last start and we’re hopeful.”

Check out the fields for Rosehill on Saturday

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