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PART 2: HOUTZEN AND HER KING'S STAND STAKES ASSIGNMENT. A HORSERACINGONLY SERIES EXCLUSIVE

By Toby Edmonds with Graham Potter | Tuesday, May 14, 2019

The Toby Edmonds trained Houtzen has taken aim at the King's Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot in June. In an HRO series exclusive, Toby Edmonds will give HRO readers regular updates on the progress made by Houtzen in the build-up to the big race as well as the back story of what it is like to be an international raider in England. This is Part 2 of the HRO Houtzen exclusive series

To read Part 1 click here Houtzen and her King's stand assignment series - Part 1

“Last time we spoke we were seven weeks out from the race and we were awaiting word from Ascot about when we could take Houtzen there.

“We are now five weeks out and we can now go down there anytime … we obviously preferable want to go when they are racing.

"We could have gone there this last weekend but we just decided to wait one more week because I am going there next Saturday night myself so we are going to be taking her to Ascot either Monday or Tuesday next week and she will gallop down there in the company of her travelling partner.

“A trip down to Ascot from her base is about an hour and three quarters from her base. They’ll both go down there and gallop down there. It won’t be out of the barriers or anything like that … but what we’ll do is just get her competitive juices going … if I can put it like that.

“That’s what we will be looking for out of that gallop and it familiarise her with Ascot. It is a daunting track … big stand, uphill section etc.

“We have picked up her work in the last couple of weeks. She’s picked up well. We are starting to work here a little bit more. She is getting fitter and fitter.

“She does come to hand pretty quick. When she has a couple of couples she gets pretty fit pretty quickly so we have to work on timing it right … and the same time we do need to have her a bit fitter than we normally would have her first up because of that uphill incline to make sure that she is going to be rock hard … or as hard as we can have her.

“I have a brief look at her possible rivals but I don’t really worry about that. Blue Point … I’m hoping he runs in the other race over 1200m Not that it worries me. He is pretty fast but she is pretty quick too. His runs have been at 1200m at that tempo.

“We can only worry about our horse. If she turns up on the day and meets the right track surface she will run well. It certainly won’t be firm over there, as we know. We are going to get a somewhat forgiving track and she should run really well on that.

“Kerrin McEvoy has been officially booked for the ride.

“That was a pretty easy decision. We asked him first. I think Aquis (one of Houtzen’s owners) were throwing a few names around but we know Kerrin. He has ridden for us. We have known him for a long time and he has been successful at Ascot so, like I said, all of that and his international experience meant it was an easy decision.

“*Next time I’ll be able to tell you about the trip down to Ascot and about how things are progressing then.”

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Blue Point, the possible opponent mentioned by Toby Edmonds, is the defending King Stand Stakes Champion. The Charlie Appelby trained Godolphin runner won last year’s edition of the race in facile fashion scoring by 1.75 lengths at a starting price of $6.

He finished unplaced as a beaten favourite in his next start in the Darley July Cup Stakes (another Group 1 event) in a race won by U S Navy Flag and then claimed a third placing in the Group 1 Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes in August 2018.

Blue Point then only re-appeared some five-and-a-half months later in Dubai where he scored three straight wins at Group 3 (by a three length margin), Group 2 (by a five length margin) and Group 1 level (by a 1.75 length margin).

That Group 1 win came in his last start on March 30 at Meydan in the US$2 million Al Quoz Sprint, a result which meant Blue Point stayed unbeaten for that three race preparation.

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January 14, 2017 … Trent Edmonds leads Houtzen around the parade ring prior to her stunning end to end win in the Magic Millions Two-Year-Old Classic at the Gold Coast
January 14, 2017 … Trent Edmonds leads Houtzen around the parade ring prior to her stunning end to end win in the Magic Millions Two-Year-Old Classic at the Gold Coast
Fast forward to May 2019 … Trent Edmonds and work rider Peter Brown with Houtzen at her Newmarket base in England some weeks out from her first international assignment in the KIng Stands Stakes at Royal Ascot. 

Whatever happens there … it has been quite a ride
Fast forward to May 2019 … Trent Edmonds and work rider Peter Brown with Houtzen at her Newmarket base in England some weeks out from her first international assignment in the KIng Stands Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Whatever happens there … it has been quite a ride
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