Houtzen McEwen Stakes; Moonee Valley trackwork

GOLD Coast trainer Toby Edmonds won’t be concerned if his flying three-year-old filly Houtzen has her colours lowered in her return to racing in the Group 2 McEwen Stakes (1000m) on Saturday at Moonee Valley.

He concedes she’s facing a small but high quality field, while he also has his eyes on the bigger prize, the $10m The Everest at Royal Randwick next month.


Houtzen, who won the Magic Millions 2YO Classic, will use the slot held by Aquis Farm.

On Tuesday morning, Houtzen had her first look at Moonee Valley, which will be the venue for her two runs leading into The Everest.

“She’s in a good space. She wasn’t out to break any records and she got on the right leg and clicked up nicely down the running,” Edmonds said.

“If she wins, she wins. It’s not the be-all and end-all. Her main goal is the Everest. It will be more important how she goes second up and third up. She worked with a stablemate and Regan Bayliss was happy with her.”

Edmonds said Craig Williams would ride her on Saturday.

Houtzen won her first four starts, including the Magic Millions 2YO Classic and her only defeat was her fifth in the Golden Slipper.

“While she’s not fully wound up, she’s going to have an advantage (on Saturday) as she will carry only 50 kilograms,” Edmonds said.

The Gold Coast trainer said after Saturday, Houtzen would again run at Moonee Valley in the Moir Stakes (1000m) or against her own age in the Scarborough Stakes (1200m) on Friday, September 29.

Baker’s mares warming to task

RENOWNED Kiwi trainer Murray Baker will start his Caulfield Cup mares, Bonneval and Lizzie L’Amour, in Saturday’s Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley.

On Tuesday, the pair worked together at Moonee Valley with their raceday jockeys Damian Oliver (Lizzie L’Amour) and Damien Lane (Bonneval) aboard.

Bonneval has won five of her eight starts, including a last start romp in the ATC Oaks, while Lizzie L’Amour won the Bonecrusher Stakes at Ellerslie in March.

Baker said both mares would need the run and regarded Lizzie L’Amour as the better of his pair for Saturday as she had trialled well in New Zealand.

PB Lawrence Stakes winner Hartnell also worked at Moonee Valley and pleased Godolphin’s Melbourne stable manager David Charles. “We just brought him here for a look around. He’s on track for the Makybe Diva Stakes on Saturday week,” Charles said.


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