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Golden Slipper favourite Houtzen eases

Houtzen remains the Golden Slipper favourite but has eased slightly after drawing barrier 16 of 19.

Her trainer would like nothing more than for Houtzen to draw a barrier which would allow her to settle behind horses in a race and charge home.

But Toby Edmonds is resigned to the filly once again leading the field from gate 16 of 19 in her most important race so far, Saturday’s $3.5 million Golden Slipper at Rosehill.

The unbeaten Houtzen crossed from the outside gate in the 16-horse Magic Millions field in January and led from barrier nine of nine in her lead-up race at Eagle Farm last Saturday week.

“I would like one day for her to get a good barrier and take a sit,” Edmonds said.

“I expect her to lead from that barrier. She’s a speed horse and such a good gate horse. She comes out fast and can cross them with the others a second behind.”

After Tuesday’s barrier draw, Houtzen eased slightly from $4 to $4.40 while retaining favouritism over She Will Reign who stayed steady at $5 after drawing 13.

Both will come in two spots if the second and third emergencies don’t gain starts.

Houtzen and She Will Reign have been the two most favoured horses for several weeks with Blue Diamond Stakes winner Catchy and runner-up Pariah at $7 and $8 respectively and the only other horses under double figures.

No horse has ever won from barrier 13 but 11 would be OK with She Will Reign’s trainer Gary Portelli.

“Eleven is my lucky number,” he said.

She Will Reign was beaten by Frolic on a heavy Randwick track in the Reisling Stakes when the winner came down the outside rail.

Rosehill was in the heavy range on Tuesday afternoon with rain predicted to continue for the rest of the week.

“A wet track brings She Will Reign back to the field,” Portelli said.

“The only time she has raced on top of the ground she set a record at Kembla Grange and won by eight lengths.”

Portelli also has $26 chance Single Bullet in the race with the colt booking his spot with his win in Saturday’s Pago Pago Stakes.

“I’ve had five or six Slipper runners before but it’s great to be going there with a couple of genuine chances,” Portelli said.

Visiting Godolphin jockey William Buick will ride Trekking with Brenton Avdulla to ride trainer John O’Shea’s other runner Veranillo while Englishman Ryan Moore will be on Formality and Kerrin McEvoy on the other Coolmore-owned runner, Tulip.

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