Houtzen (Image: Magic Millions)
She's got speed to burn but star Queensland filly Houtzen doesn't have to lead her rivals to win Saturday's Group 2 McEwen Stakes (1000m) according to trainer Toby Edmonds.
Edmonds was trackside at The Valley on Tuesday morning to watch the three-year-old have her maiden gallop around the unique circuit and was pleased with what he saw, adding that the Magic Millions Classic (1200m) winner had furnished into an imposing filly since her juvenile season.
Despite her four career wins coming via tough, on-pace performances, the Gold Coast horseman said a favourable barrier could see Houtzen take a sit behind her rivals in Saturday's $200,000 dash.
"She got around good, it was her first time around here obviously, although she'd galloped a couple of times at home in the reverse way," Edmonds said.
"Regan Bayliss rode her and he was very happy with her, he said she got on the right leg, sat outside another horse and never wandered about or anything.
"The barrier will be important on Saturday and if she doesn't lead it doesn't worry me.
"She's led at all of her runs but that's because of the barriers she's been dealt and it's unfortunate but sometimes you get horses like that who just keep drawing bad barriers and you've got to ride them differently to how you really want them ridden.
"If she draws a nice barrier and they go quick then she can just sit behind them but if she doesn't draw a barrier then we might have to bang her up on the speed again."
Edmonds reiterated his intention for a two-start program for the daughter of I Am Invincible into The Everest (1200m) at Randwick next month, which will likely see her chase a maiden Group 1 win in the Moir Stakes (1000m) later in September.
"Her next run will be on Moir night but I'm not sure whether it will be in the Moir Stakes or in the 1200m fillies race that night," he said.
"She'll only have the two runs and then The Everest and that is set in stone now."
Houtzen galloped with stablemate Eptimum, a three-year-old son of Snitzel, that Edmonds said would tackle a VOBIS maiden in Victoria over the coming weeks.