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Houtzen is expected to have improved considerably from a barrier trial as she prepares to resume at Randwick

Star Queensland filly Houtzen is expected to have improved considerably from a barrier trial as she prepares to resume at Randwick.

Houtzen will be having her first start since being unplaced in the Coolmore Stud Stakes on November 4 at Flemington.

She is one of 17 entries for Saturday’s Listed Fireball Stakes (1100m) for three-year-olds and one of 11 in the Group Two weight-for-age Challenge Stakes (1000m).

Houtzen had a hit-out between races at the Gold Coast two weeks ago and then was taken to Sydney.

Houtzen showed blistering pace to win a trial at Randwick last Tuesday with several Group One performers including Happy Clapper, who runs in Saturday’s Canterbury Stakes, behind her.

Trainer Toby Edmonds was happy with the trial but wasn’t getting carried away.

“The Gold Coast gallop was her first serious hit-out since a break and the trial should have helped her further,” Edmonds said.

“She has been in Sydney for ten days and settled in well.”

“After Saturday we can have a good idea where she is going.”

Edmonds said the Group One Sangster Classic for fillies and mares in Adelaide was one aim for Houtzen.

“But I have the Doomben 10,000 in the back of my mind for her in mid-May,” he said.

“They are both weight-for-age and 1200 metres so it is another option.”

With a 97 rating, Houtzen is heads the nominations for the Fireball which is run under set weights and penalties conditions.

The entries for the Challenge Stakes include Group One winners English, Redzel, Takedown, Terravista and The Mission.

 
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