International options for quality mare Houtzen

5 min read

Written by Paul Vettise

Group winning sprinter Houtzen (I Am Invincible) will be bidding to become the fourth Australian-trained winner of the G1 King’s Stand S. at Ascot and the mare’s international travels may not just be limited to England.

The Toby Edmonds trained 4-year-old has safely negotiated the opening stage of her overseas adventure and coped admirably with the arduous flight, safely touching down on Friday. She has subsequently settled in well at Jane Chapple-Hyam’s stables at Abington Place.

“It was a long flight, 28 hours and then a couple more to go on to Newmarket,” Edmonds said. “She had her head in the feed bin straight away so it’s all gone well so far.”

Part-owned by Aquis Farm, Houtzen was set for the trip to Europe back in January.

“After the Magic Millions, Aquis requested that a plan be put in place to run her first-up in the King’s Stand,” Edmonds said.

“After the Magic Millions, Aquis requested that a plan be put in place to run her first-up in the King’s Stand.” - Toby Edmonds

“My son Trent has gone over with her and another horse travelled with them. She went over early just in case something anything happened and she could have time to get over it.

“She’ll get acclimatised and we’ve got the use of all those tracks, a straight gallop and a gallop up an incline.”

Edmonds said Houtzen’s performance in the King’s S., to be run on the opening day of the Royal Ascot carnival June 18, would determine the remainder of her campaign.

“As long as she runs well we’re quite keen to press on. Not the July Cup, but there are sprinting options in France and England and maybe even on to the Breeders’ Cup. We’ll just see what happens.”

“As long as she runs well we’re quite keen to press on.” – Toby Edmonds.

Australian trainers have enjoyed terrific success in the King’s Stand S. with the winning 2003 lead of Paul Perry’s Choisir (Danehill Dancer {Ire}) followed by Joe Janiak’s Takeover Target (Celtic Swing {GB}) in 2006 and a year later Miss Andretti (Ihitiram {Ire}) won for Lee Freedman.

Daniel Morton was successful in 2009 with Scenic Blast (Scenic {Ire}) while in 2012 the New Zealand-bred Little Bridge (NZ) (Faltaat {USA}) triumphed for trainer Danny Shum.

Takeover Target also finished runner-up in 2008, as did Danny O’Brien’s Star Witness (Starcraft {NZ}) in 2011 while Magnus (Flying Spur) finished third in Miss Andretti’s edition for Peter Moody.

Houtzen has won seven of her 18 starts, including the G3 PJ Bell S. and the G3 Scarborough S. and two runs back in the Listed Bribie Quality.

A $105,000 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale purchase for Edmonds Racing, Houtzen is a daughter of Set To Unleash (Redoute’s Choice), who is out of a half-sister to the multiple Group 1 winner Sun Classique (Fuji Kiseki {Jpn}). She was a champion 3-year-old filly in South Africa and champion older mare in the United Arab Emirates.

Randwick return for mare

Meanwhile, on the domestic front Edmonds’ talented mare Winter Bride (Not A Single Doubt) will make her next appearance back at Randwick.

“She’ll run in the Sapphire S. on April 13,” he said.

The Segenhoe Thoroughbreds-owned 4-year-old successfully opened her autumn campaign in Sydney last time out when she was successful in the G3 Wenona Girl Quality.

Winter Bride made impressive progress during her previous preparation with four consecutive victories, including a Group 3 double at Caulfield in the How Now S. and the Cape Grim S.

“She’s a terrific mare and handles all conditions and she can be ridden quietly or up on the speed. She’s a ripper,” Edmonds said.

“She’s a terrific mare and handles all conditions and she can be ridden quietly or up on the speed.” – Toby Edmonds.

Winter Bride is out of the G2 Emancipation S. winner Amberino (Perugino {USA}) and the family of multiple stakes winner and sire Blazing Sword (Marscay).

Edmonds’ stable has been in hot form in recent times and it was added to in style on Saturday when the well-related Millard Reaction (Fastnet Rock) kept his unbeaten record intact.

The 3-year-old won both of his trials and now both of his starts at Doomben to continue a proud family tradition.

Millard Reaction is a son of Miss Jakeo (Unbridled’s Song {USA}) and nine of her 10 foals to race have been successful and includes G1 Oakleigh Plate winner Mrs Onassis (General Nediym) and the Group 3 winners Miss Judgement (Strategic), Fifth Avenue Lady (Encosta de Lago) and Aussies Love Sport (Redoute’s Choice).

Edmonds said he would take it a step at a time with Millard Reaction and look for ‘something better’ in the wake of his latest age group win.

The gelding was bought out of Baramul Stud’s Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale draft for $220,000 by Aquis Farm and Blue Sky Bloodstock and with breeder Gerry Harvey remaining in the ownership.