The connections of Everest contender Shoals say they are satisfied with the star sprinter's third placing in last Saturday's Gr2 McEwen Stakes (1000m) at Moonee Valley. Trained by Anthony Freedman, Shoals was having her first run since winning the Gr1 Robert Sangster Stakes in May when beaten 3.85 lengths by Nature Strip in track record time. "Shoals was off the bit the whole time. They ran track record time and we were pleased with her," Freedman Racing Manager Brad Taylor told racing.com. "It was definitely a pass mark. We were thinking that the 1000 metres might be a bit too sharp and Tim Clarke [jockey] was of the opinion she just knocked up the last 75 metres, so we’re happy enough with the run." Taylor added: "She’s pulled up really well. From all reports down at Pinecliff this morning she’s out in the paddock enjoying that, it does seem to help these mares having a day in the paddock after they run." Shoals is expected to make her next appearance in the Gr3 How Now Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on 22 September.
At Moonee Valley in Melbourne, Widden Stud's dual Gr1-winning sire Nicconi (Bianconi-Nicola Lass, by Scenic) added a Group race success when 4YO Australian-bred gelding Nature Strip (Nicconi-Strikeline, by Desert Sun) scored a track record win (56.95) in the $200,000 Gr2 McEwen Stakes (1000m) for 3YO+, narrowly defeating the fast-finishing Houtzen & Shoals. Trainer Darren Weir believes Nature Strip is still a genuine Everest contender despite the speedster only just holding off the late challenge of Houtzen. “The speed that they went, he was going to be found wanting late,” Weir told racing.com. “Normally we wouldn't let horses out of the barrier like that but if he didn't use his barrier and go hard like he did it becomes messy.” Weir added: “There will be people querying the 1200m but with under his belt and another good, solid run in the Moir, I think we'll be right. He's the fastest horse I've trained.” Passed in for $90,000 at the 2016 Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale when offered by his breeder Golden Grove Stud, Nature Strip improved his record to 8 wins (including the Listed Lightning Stakes & Listed A.R. Creswick Series Final) and 2 placings from 11 starts for $692,085 in earnings.
Meanwhile, top Queensland filly Houtzen will have to overcome the outside gate of 14 in Saturday's $700,000 weight-for-age Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1200m) in Brisbane. It will be the 3YOs first start at Doomben since she won her debut there as a 2YO in December 2016. Houtzen (I Am Invincible-Set to Unleash, by Reset) showed a pleasing return to form in the autumn when finishing third to I Am Excited in the Listed Fireball Stakes (1100m) at Randwick before landing the Gr3 PJ Bell Stakes (1200m) at the same venue on day one of The Championships - her first win in seven months. At her most recent outing she finished sixth behind Catchy in the Gr2 Arrowfield 3YO Sprint (1200m) at Randwick on 14 April. "The wind was blowing a gale that day and it was always going to be difficult that day," trainer Toby Edmonds told Racing Queensland. "She's come home in great order and she gets a bit of weight off horses like Redzel this time. She's matured a lot and is a lot stronger and is an on-speed filly so I suggest she'll run well." TAB currently have Houtzen listed as a $23 chance for the Doomben 10,000.
Classy Queensland filly Houtzen has been confirmed as a runner in the $700,000 Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1200m) on Saturday week (12 May), reports AAP. "Dad has decided it is the ideal race for her as it is 1200 metres around Doomben at weight for age. She will make it interesting," said Trent Edmonds, foreman for his trainer father Toby. "She has pleased us since getting back from Sydney." Houtzen showed a pleasing return to form in the autumn finishing third to I Am Excited in the Listed Fireball Stakes (1100m) at Randwick before landing the Gr3 PJ Bell Stakes (1200m) at the same venue on day one of The Championships - her first win in seven months.
At Royal Randwick on day one of The Championships, Yarraman Park's Gr3-winning stallion I Am Invincible (Invincible Spirit-Cannarelle, by Canny Lad) added a Group race success when 3YO Australian-bred filly Houtzen (I Am Invincible-Set to Unleash, by Reset) recorded her first win in seven months when scoring a narrow but brave win in the $200,000 Gr3 PJ Bell Stakes (1200m) for 3YO fillies, defeating Manicure & Problem Solver. Houtzen advanced her record to 6 wins (including the Gr3 Scarborough Stakes & Magic Millions 2YO Classic) and 2 placings (the Gr2 McEwen Stakes & Listed ATC Fireball Stakes) from 11 starts for $1,860,525 in earnings. Houtzen, who hails from the family of 4-time Gr1 winner and champion South African mare Sun Classique & Gr1 South Australian Oaks winner Gamine, was purchased by her trainer Toby Edmonds for $105,000 at the 2016 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale from the draft of Yarraman Park.
At Royal Randwick in Sydney, Arrowfield Stud's incumbent Champion Australian Sire Snitzel (Redoute's Choice-Snippets' Lass, by Snippets) added a black-type success when 3YO Australian-bred filly I Am Excited (Snitzel-Lady Beckworth, by General Nediym) unleashed a brilliant sprint midway down the straight to post a dominant win in the $125,000 Listed Fireball Stakes (1100m) for 3YOs, defeating Acqume & Houtzen. This was the first stakes win for the talented I Am Excited who improved her record to 3 wins and 3 placings (including the Gr2 ATC Furious Stakes & Gr3 VRC Kennedy Plate) from 9 starts for $257,125 in earnings. I Am Excited is a half-sister to multiple stakes winning mare Flippant (Hinchinbrook) out of the well related Lady Beckworth (General Nediym-Nanshan). Lady Beckworth, in turn, is a half-sister to Regard (Zabeel-Nanshan), the dam of superstar mare Atlantic Jewel (Fastnet Rock) and Gr1 Thousand Guineas winner Commanding Jewel (Commands).
Trainer Toby Edmonds has nominated the Gr1 Robert Sangster Stakes in Adelaide as the long-term target for former gun juvenile Houtzen, reports racenet. The 3YO I Am Invincible filly, who won last year's Magic Millions 2YO Classic, has not been seen in action since finishing ninth in the Gr1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington in the spring. "She has been back in work for three weeks and she will go to Sydney for some runs in March but everything is heading towards the Robert Sangster," Edmonds said. "She has really filled out and matured and she looks great to me." The $1 million Gr1 Robert Sangster Stakes (1200m) will be run at Morphettville racecourse in May.
Meanwhile, leading trainer Tony McEvoy has erred on the side of caution and will run highly touted Magic Million 2YO Classic-bound filly Sunlight in this Saturday's @Aquisfarm On Twitter 2YO Handicap (1100m) at the Gold Coast, before backing up seven days later in the grand final. Sunlight, the debut 2YO runner for multiple Gr1-winning sprinter and now Widden Stud / Woodside Park stallion Zoustar when debuting with a third in the Listed Maribyrnong Trial at Flemington in early October, completely dismantled the field when a tearaway winner at the Gold Coast on December 23. McEvoy is trusting current history with last year's winner Houtzen and 2015 winner Le Chef following the same path, noting, ''Running seven days out from the grand final, there's always risks involved with any horse doing that but she's a gross-doing filly and she's very sound. She needs another run before she gets to the pressure cooker of the Magic Millions so I am looking forward to the Gold Coast on Saturday." The team at Widden Stud will certainly be cheering her on as it will offer Sunlight's full sister (Lot 330) at the Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale on Jan 11.
TAB have opened defending champion Redzel as $8 favourite for the 2018 The Everest (1200m) to be run at Royal Randwick on 13 October, reports racingnsw.com.au. Prize money for next year's Everest, now the richest turf race in the world, will jump from $10 million to $13 million. The Peter & Paul Snowden-trained Redzel has established himself as the pre-eminent sprinter in Australia stringing together six consecutive wins since April, including Gr1 victories in the Darley Classic and Doomben 10,000.
TAB Everest Market
$8 - Redzel
$11 - Chautauqua, Vega Magic
$15 - Menari, Merchant Navy, Winx
$26 - Brave Smash, Clearly Innocent, English, In Her Time, Invincible Star, She Will Reign
$51 - Deploy, Hey Doc, Houtzen, Impending, Nature Strip, Performer, Redkirk Warrior, Terravista, Trapeze Artist, Tulip, Viddora
$101 - Ball of Muscle, Fell Swoop, Formality, Malaguerra, Rock Magic, Sheidel, Spieth
The final field has been declared and the barrier draw conducted for the inaugural running of the world's richest turf race – the $10 million The Everest (1200m) to be held at Royal Randwick racecourse in Sydney this Saturday. A capacity field of 12 sprinters will line up in the race with each horse representing a slot holder. There are four emergencies should there be any scratchings. In the case that any of the 12 horses is withdrawn, the affected slot holder/s will be able to negotiate with the connections of the substitute emergency runner. Golden Slipper winner She Will Reign (barrier 2) is the current $4.60 TAB favourite for the race, ahead of Vega Magic (10) at $5.50, Chautauqua (5) at $6, Redzel (4) at $7, and Redkirk Warrior (3) at $9. All other runners are at double figure odds. Click below to view The Everest field.
Horse (Slot Holder)
Trainer Toby Edmonds is confident that 3YO filly Houtzen is primed for a bold showing in Saturday’s $10 million The Everest (1200m) at Royal Randwick. The former star 2YO returned to the winner’s circle with a tough win in the Gr3 Scarborough Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on 29 September, and Edmonds believes she has taken plenty of benefit from the run. “She’s in really good order, she looks great and I’m confident she has taken a lot of improvement out of the run,” Edmonds told ANZ Bloodstock News. Edmonds said his confidence was buoyed after analysing Houtzen’s last-start performance with regular rider Jeff Lloyd. “After having a catch up with him and watching the replays and getting my head around the times she ran and all the rest of it, we were quite upbeat about it all,” Edmonds said. “He gave a very good report and I have to be guided by that, he knows her very well, probably better than anyone and she’s trained on and come through it nicely. We are very confident about her chances on Saturday.” Houtzen will represent Aquis Farm in Saturday’s Everest.
At Moonee Valley in Melbourne, Yarraman Park's Gr3-winning stallion I Am Invincible (Invincible Spirit-Cannarelle, by Canny Lad) added a Group race success when 3YO bay filly Houtzen (I Am Invincible-Set to Unleash, by Reset) showed her customary speed to lead throughout for a strong win in the $150,000 Gr3 Scarborough Stakes (1200m) for 3YO fillies, defeating Mintha & True Excelsior. This was an encouraging return to form for Houtzen who improved her record to 5 wins (including the Magic Millions 2YO Classic) and 1 placing (the Gr2 McEwen Stakes) from 7 starts for $1,559,600 in earnings. Houtzen, who hails from the family of 4-time Gr1 winner and champion South African mare Sun Classique & Gr1 South Australian Oaks winner Gamine, was purchased by her trainer Toby Edmonds Racing for $105,000 at the 2016 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale from the draft of Yarraman Park. Should she line up, Houtzen will represent Aquis Farm in the inaugural running of the world's richest turf race, the $10 million The Everest (1200m) at Royal Randwick on 14 October. "The Everest has always been her grand final so we have left something in the tank," Edmonds told racing.com on Friday night. "We will talk to Aquis who have the slot. We will sit down and talk about it. The horse comes first…if we think there is a more suitable race for her we might go that way."
Houtzen's performance in the Gr3 Scarborough Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on Friday night will determine if she presses on to next month's The Everest in Sydney, reports racing.com. The champion Queensland filly will be having the second start of her 3YO campaign after resuming with a moderate third behind Russian Revolution in the Gr2 McEwen Stakes (1000m) at Moonee Valley on 9 September. "We'll get a good guide with her on Friday and see what sort of figure she returns and then work out whether we run in the Everest or not," trainer Toby Edmonds said. "If she didn't rate really well on Friday night there's a big chance we'd keep her here [Melbourne] for another three-year-old race." Edmonds added: "There's no excuses at all. It's time to turn on the tap now and if she's not up to it then she's not up to it." Should she line up, Houtzen will represent Aquis Farm in the inaugural running of the world's richest turf race, the $10 million The Everest (1200m), at Royal Randwick on 14 October.
At Moonee Valley in Melbourne, Arrowfield Stud's incumbent Champion Australian Sire Snitzel (Redoute's Choice-Snippets' Lass, by Snippets) added a Group success when 4YO bay entire Russian Revolution (Snitzel-Ballet d'Amour, by Stravinsky) resumed with an impressive victory in the $200,000 Gr2 McEwen Stakes (1000m) for 3YO+, defeating Heatherly & Houtzen. Russian Revolution improved his record to 6 wins (including the Gr1 Galaxy, Gr2 Roman Consul Stakes & Gr3 Vain Stakes) from 9 starts for $982,225 in earnings. Russian Revolution races in the red and yellow star silks of the China Horse Club which purchased him for $320,000 at the 2015 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale from the draft of Vinery Stud. Russian Revolution is a direct descendant of celebrated blue hen Fanfreluche, ancestress of former champion Australian sires Encosta de Lago and Flying Spur, and Coolmore stallion Holy Roman Emperor.Co-trainer Paul Snowden said Russian Revolution will have his next start in the Gr1 Moir Stakes (1000m) at Mooney Valley on 29 September and is hoping he can attract the support of a slot-holder for the inaugural $10 million The Everest (1200m) at Royal Randwick on 14 October. "We targeted this race on purpose because it was a barrier trial for the Moir Stakes in a couple of weeks' time so it was a good indication to see how he handled it," Snowden told racing.com. "The Moir will be a crucial lead-up to The Everest and it's probably going to be a lot stronger than what it's been in the last few years."
Star mare Yankee Rose has been crowned Queensland Horse of the Year, reports Sky Racing. The dual Gr1 winner beat a quality field that included Gr1 JJ Atkins Stakes winner Capital Gain and Magic Millions 2YO Classic winner Houtzen. "To receive such a prestige award after the great Buffering last year helps me realise this is home and I am going nowhere. This is an amazing honour," said trainer David Vandyke, who moved his training operation from Sydney to the Sunshine Coast only last year. The category winners were:
Star Queensland filly Houtzen is making good progress as she prepares for a spring campaign aimed at The Everest in October, reports AAP. The rising 3YO stamped herself as one of the best juveniles in the country last season winning four of her five starts, including the Magic Millions 2YO Classic in January. Her only defeat was in the Gr1 Golden Slipper in which she finished fifth to fellow filly She Will Reign. Houtzen (I Am Invincible-Set to Unleash, by Reset) will represent Aquis Farm in the inaugural running of the world's richest turf race – the $10 million The Everest (1200m) - at Royal Randwick on 14 October. "She is going along nicely and should be ready to head to Melbourne in late August or early September," trainer Toby Edmonds said. "We will pick some lead-up races for her and then head to The Everest in Sydney." He added: "There are some outstanding horses being aimed at it. But my filly will have 50kg and they will have to run her down."
Talented colt Chauffeur is settling in well to his new environment at the Team Hawkes stable at Rosehill, reports AAP. Previously trained by Gerald Ryan, the rising 3YO showed plenty of potential during his juvenile season with his best performance being a close second to top Queensland filly Houtzen in the Magic Millions 2YO Classic in January. Chauffeur, who topped the 2016 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale when selling to Ryan and Damion Flower of Jadeskye Racing for $1.6 million, is by Snitzel out of the Listed ATC Gimcrack Stakes winner Mirror Mirror, making him a three-quarter brother to stakes-winning juvenile No Looking Back (Redoute's Choice). A direct descendant of 1945 Melbourne Cup winner Rainbird, Chauffeur hails from the extended female family of 5-time Gr1-winning champion South African sprinting mare Laisserfaire, champion New Zealand sire Centaine, as well as stakes winners Time Thief, Personify, Foreplay, A Time For Julia, Galapagos Girl, Procrastinate, and Tennessee Vain.
The fillies dominated the 2YO division in the autumn, but trainer Gerald Ryan is predicting the colts to turn the tables in the spring, reports racenet. Houtzen won the Magic Millions 2YO Classic (1200m), Catchy saluted in the Gr1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m), and She Will Reign landed the Gold Slipper to give the females a clean sweep of the feature 2YO races last season. But Ryan, who has three potential top-class colts in Menari, Trapeze Artist and Condor Heroes, believes the boys will come into their own as 3YOs. "I don't think the fillies are going to improve from the autumn but the colts could jump out of the ground," Ryan said. Arguably the best of Ryan’s trio is the richly talented Menari (Snitzel), who had his juvenile season, and his brilliant acceleration, thwarted by wet tracks. The George Altomonte-owned colt is being aimed at the stallion-making Gr1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on 4 November. "He's come back big and strong – really well," Ryan said. "Him, Trapeze Artist and Condor Heroes all look really good. Trapeze Artist will probably kick off in the Rosebud and I'm thinking about the San Domenico (Stakes) with Condor Heroes.” Ryan added: “They're all around the same time but we'll just keep them apart and aim them towards to the Golden Rose. Maybe Menari will stick to the sprints."
Yarraman Park has announced the 2017 fees for its resident champion stallions I Am Invincible and Hinchinbrook. I Am Invincible, sire of dual Gr1 winning sprinter and stallion Brazen Beau, has had an outstanding year both on the track and in the sales ring. With 19 stakes winners to his credit, I Am Invincible is the sire of Australia’s best 3YO filly I Am A Star who recently added the Gr2 Kewney Stakes & Gr2 Sunline Stakes to her impressive CV which is highlighted by her Gr1 Myer Classic victory in the spring. I Am Invincible, currently the country’s leading stallion by winners to runners with a consistent percentage of more than 50%, is also the sire of brilliant Queensland filly and Magic Millions 2YO Classic winner Houtzen. He will stand at $110,000 (inc. GST) this spring. Meanwhile, Snitzel’s three-quarter-brother Hinchinbrook has had a brilliant start to 2017 following his remarkable spring where he was one of only four stallions to sire more than one stakes winner at the Melbourne Cup Carnival. He is the sire of Gr1-winning freshman stallion Press Statement, Magic Millions 3YO Guineas winner Flying Jess, classy juvenile Diamond Tathagata, Gr3 winner Spright and Listed winners Flippant and Derryn. Hinchinbrook’s fee has been set at $44,000 (inc. GST).
The final field has been declared (16 plus three emergencies) and the barrier draw conducted for the world's richest juvenile race – the $3.5 million Gr1 Golden Slipper (1200m) to be run at Rosehill Gardens this Saturday, 18th March. Boom Queensland filly Houtzen is the current $4.40 tab favourite for the race despite drawing wide in barrier 16. Fellow unbeaten filly She Will Reign also fared poorly, with connections coming up with gate 13. The Gary Portelli-trained filly is second favourite at $5. Next best is Blue Diamond winner Catchy at $7 (barrier 8), followed by Blue Diamond runner-up Pariah at $8 (barrier 4). All other runners are at double figure odds headed by Tulip at $11 (barrier 10). The final field is:
Gary Portelli says running She Will Reign (Manhattan Rain-Courgette, by Charge Forward) in the Riesling Stakes a fortnight ago should stand her in good stead when she contests Saturday's Gr1 Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill, reports racingnsw.com.au. "She's in great order going into the race and now that the weather has come in I'm glad that we raced two weeks ago because she's got that fitness to fall back on. She has run on a pretty heavy track and had a go at 1200m," Portelli said. She Will Reign "pulled up enormous" after the run and it's all systems go towards the world's richest 2YO where she is currently the $5 second favourite behind Houtzen at $4.40 with Tab. "I worked her this morning [Tuesday], just giving her an easy gallop over 1000m on the course proper at Warwick Farm. We didn't ask much of her but she worked with a mate and the last 50m I told Glenn, who rides her in work, to give her a little squeeze to make sure there is something there and she went up into that gear and she went straight past it," Portelli said. She Will Reign drew barrier 13, the only barrier yet to produce a Golden Slipper winner, but she will start from 11 if the emergencies come out which by Portelli's admission is his "lucky number".
Magic Millions 2YO Classic winner Houtzen will head to the world's richest juvenile race with an unblemished record after a fourth stunning win from as many starts at Eagle Farm on Saturday. Bookmakers around the country reacted to the outstanding victory by cutting her price for the $3.5 million Gr1 Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens on 18 March. Racing for the first time since a dashing win in the $2 million Magic Millions 2YO Classic in January, Houtzen showed pace throughout for the easiest of wins. Connections were delighted with the performance of the I Am Invincible filly as she romped to a four length success despite lugging a huge 63kg. "It was great the way she won and Toby (trainer Toby Edmonds) did a great job to choose this race rather than run in Sydney," winning rider Jeff Lloyd said. Lloyd said his only concern today was jumping from the outside barrier and the short run from the 1000 metre start to the first corner. Houtzen flew the barriers and crossed the field quickly and then came back under the in-form rider and from there everything went to plan. A $105,000 Gold Coast Yearling Sale purchase for Edmonds from the draft of Yarraman Park Stud, Houtzen is unbeaten in four runs and her earnings have raced to $1,325,600. Houtzen is now the clear $4.40 second favourite for the Golden Slipper behind long-time favourite and fellow unbeaten filly She Will Reign at $3.60.
With some uncertainty as to whether Houtzen will stay home or head south to tackle the reigning Golden Slipper favourite at Royal Randwick, the 63kg the daughter of I Am Invincible has been lumped with in the Winning Edge Presentations Handicap at Eagle Farm in Brisbane tomorrow has fallen on deaf ears as far as bookmakers are concerned. The unbeaten Magic Millions 2YO Classic heroine, who will need to emulate her Gold Coast run where she did a jump and run under regular pilot Jeff Lloyd, will see her class carry her a long way but at $1.40 the bagmen could see her as the potential lay of the day. The 1000m scamper with that weight will tax her far less than 1200m however, and there will be plenty of admirers happy to make a 40 percent return in less than a minute. Carrying 9kg less than Houtzen, debutante Miss Exfactor, by emerging young sire Your Song, has been specked at longer odds to cause an upset.
Trainer Toby Edmonds is keeping his options open with boom Queensland filly Houtzen but is still favouring launching her Golden Slipper campaign at Eagle Farm on Saturday, reports Racing Queensland Webnews. Houtzen is also an acceptor for the Gr2 Reisling Stakes (1000m) at Randwick on Saturday and has been nominated for Sunday's Gr3 Black Opal Stakes (1200m) in Canberra. Edmonds wasn't that surprised when Houtzen received top weight of 63kgs in Brisbane and is more concerned with a forecast of rain. "She's been nominated in three places and I'll just have to roll the dice at some stage," Edmonds said. "My preference is Eagle Farm but we'll have to watch the weather. I thought she'd get around 61kgs but I'm not that surprised with her weight." He added: "It's a big weight but it's only 1000 metres. Time will tell if she can carry it, if we go to Eagle Farm." Houtzen produced a sizzling exhibition gallop at Doomben last Saturday in her first serious hit-out since her Magic Millions 2YO Classic victory in January. The daughter of I Am Invincible clocked 32.22 seconds for the last 600 metres which delighted Edmonds. "It was good work and Jeff (Lloyd) felt she was as good as ever," Edmonds said. "She was a bit jaded following the win [Magic Million] but she's going great again now." Houtzen is currently equal second favourite for the Golden Slipper with Menari at $8. Fellow unbeaten filly She Will Reign remains the dominant favourite at $2.80.
Golden Slipper favourite She Will Reign continues to thrive ahead of the world's richest juvenile race at Rosehill Gardens on 18 March, according to her trainer Gary Portelli. "She's done really well," Portelli told Racing.com. "She only lost two kilos from the run last start. She's pretty cool and laid back." Portelli said the boom filly's last-start victory in the Gr2 Silver Slipper Stakes, in which she was slow out of the gates, proved to him that she will run out a strong six-furlongs in the Golden Slipper. "She's always showed a lot of speed but with horses that fast you're always worried about them getting a little tired," he said. "The big step up for me was the 1100 (metres) last start and to see her run through the line and have trouble pulling her up gave me more confidence." He added: "I'm at that level now where I go to the races I know I've got the horse. I just need some luck during the race and we should get a good result." She Will Reign (Manhattan Rain-Courgette, by Charge Forward), a brilliant winner of her three starts to date, is currently to clear Tab favourite for the Golden Slipper at $2.80, ahead of flying Queensland filly Houtzen and untapped colt Menari at $8. The Blue Diamond Stakes quinella of Catchy and Pariah are next best at $11.
Meanwhile, trainer Toby Edmonds says unbeaten Queensland filly Houtzen (I Am Invincible-Set to Unleash, by Reset) will have just the one prep run before the $3.5 million Gr1 Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill on 18 March, reports AAP. "We have got her comeback run down to being one of two venues - Eagle Farm on March 4 or the Black Opal at Canberra on March 5," Edmonds said. "We only want to give her one run before the Slipper and while we aren't afraid of She Will Reign, we don't want to take her on in the Reisling Stakes in the lead-up." Houtzen is currently the $8 second favourite for the Golden Slipper behind She Will Reign at $3.
Boom Queensland filly Houtzen (I Am Invincible-Set to Unleash, by Reset) is set to trial at Randwick on 13 February. The Toby Edmonds-trained Houtzen, who extended her unbeaten record to 3 wins from 3 starts when overcoming a wide barrier to win last month's $2 million Magic Millions 2YO Classic on the Gold Coast, will attempt to join Dance Hero (2004), Phelan Ready (2009) and Capitalist (2016) as the only winners of the Magic Millions-Golden Slipper double at Rosehill on 18 March.
Al Shaqab’s Champion 2YO Shalaa (Invincible Spirit-Ghurra by War Chant) will shuttle to Arrowfield Stud in Australia from 2017. The Irish-bred stallion was a prolific top flight juvenile performer in the 2015 European season with five consecutive 1200-metre victories, including Europe’s premier 2YO sprinting tests, France’s Deauville Gr1 Prix Morny and the UK’s Newmarket Gr1 Middle Park Stakes. Those performances ultimately cemented Shalaa’s status as Champion 2YO Colt in both Great Britain and France, with Jockey Frankie Dettori and trainer John Gosden both describing him as the best 2YO they’ve been associated with. Timeform rated Shalaa at 123+ in July 2015, declaring him the best two-year-old in the world at that time. Shalaa is now about to start serving his first mares in France at owner Al Shaqab's Haras de Bouquetot, among them World Champion and dual Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe winner Treve. Shalaa is a son of the remarkable success story Invincible Spirit, who now commands a €120,000 fee at The Irish National Stud. His 98 stakes-winners include European Horse of the Year Kingman, Champion European Sprinter Moonlight Cloud and successful young Australian stallion I Am Invincible, sire of recent mgaic Millions 2YO Classic heroine Houtzen. Shalaa will stand his first Australian season in 2017 at a fee of $33,000 inc. GST.
At the Gold Coast in Queensland, Yarraman Park's Gr3-winning stallion I Am Invincible (Invincible Spirit-Cannarelle, by Canny Lad) added a restricted black-type success when 2YO filly Houtzen (I Am Invincible-Set to Unleash, by Reset) overcame a wide barrier to score a brilliant 0.5 length win for trainer Toby Edmonds in the $2 million Magic Millions 2YO Classic (1200m) for 2YOs, over 2YO colt Chauffeur (Snitzel-Mirror Mirror, by Dehere) & fellow 2YO filly Madeenaty (Exceed and Excel-Set for Fame, by Reset). Houtzen, who extended her unbeaten record to 3 wins from 3 starts for $1,285,400 earnings, will now attempt to join Dance Hero (2004), Phelan Ready (2009) and Capitalist (2016) as the only winners of the Magic Millions-Golden Slipper double at Rosehill in March. "It's been a great effort and today she proved she was the best filly," Edmonds said post-race. "Winning the Magic Millions is everything to us. It's our home town and a dream come true." Houtzen, who hails from the family of 4-time Gr1 winner and champion South African mare Sun Classique & Gr1 South Australian Oaks winner Gamine, was purchased by Edmonds Racing for $105,000 at last year's Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale from the draft of Yarraman Park.
1. Ours to Keep (Chris Munce-D Browne) 57kg (4)
2. Goodfella (Bjorn Baker-B Avdulla) 57kg (14)
3. Bring It Home Pop (Darryl Hansen-L Tarrant) 57kg (20)
4. Chauffeur (Gerald Ryan-J Parr) 57kg (12)
5. Falconic (Gary Portelli-K Jennings) 57kg (8)
6. Saxton Rock (Matthew Dunn-R Fradd) 57kg (15)
7. Arrestar (Matthew Dunn-D Lane) 57kg (11)
8. Madeenaty (D&B Hayes & T Dabernig-M Zahra) 55kg (1)
9. Champ Elect (Chris Munce-K McEvoy) 55kg (17)
10. Invincible Star (G Waterhouse & A Bott-T Clark) 55kg (16)
11. Houtzen (Toby Edmonds-J Lloyd) 55kg (21)
12. Madame Moustache (Chris Waller-B Shinn) 55kg (13)
14. From Within (Chris Waller-H Bowman) 55kg (7)
15. Real Princess (Liam Birchley-T Angland) 55kg (10)
16. Colosimo (Steven O'dea-P Hammersley) 55kg (18)
17. Cellargirl (Kelly Schweida-J Orman) 55kg (6)
17e. Tiara Star (Toby Edmonds) 55kg (2)
18e. Invader (Peter & Paul Snowden) 57kg (9)
19e. Imaginalthepeople (Ben Currie) 57kg (3)
20e. Zukaz (Stuart Kendrick) 57kg (5)
21e. Gwapo (Scott Morrisey) 57kg (19)
Brilliant Queensland filly Houtzen (I Am Invincible-Set to Unleash, by Reset) has cemented her position at the top of the market for Saturday's $2 million Magic Millions 2YO Classic (1200m) after maintaining her perfect record at the Gold Coast on Saturday. Ridden by leading local hoop Jeff Lloyd, Houtzen produced an arrogant display when cruising to a 4.5 length win over Make My Own Luck and Sista Act in the QTIS 2YO Handicap over 1100 metres. Houtzen has now won her only two race starts by a combined margin of 8.5 lengths. The Toby Edmonds-trained daughter of I Am Invincible is now the dominant $3.60 Tab favourite for Saturday's Magic Millions juvenile feature at the Gold Coast ahead of the Chris Waller-trained From Within at $4.60. Edmonds was relieved to have finally secured the speedy filly's place in the Magic Millions field. "It's good to get it out of the road," Edmonds told Racing Queensland. "She's quite a sensible filly and a push button type. She's so placid and is very quick on her feet but you have to shake her up to get going." He added: "We just need to get her home now and hope she eats up and is sound in the morning." Houtzen, who hails from the family of 4-time Gr1 winner and champion South African mare Sun Classique & Gr1 South Australian Oaks winner Gamine, was purchased by Edmonds Racing for $105,000 at last year's Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale from the draft of Yarraman Park.
-Meanwhile, as Houtzen aims to cement his position in the Magic Millions Classic, trainer Toby Edmonds will also be floating Magic Millions Summer Sprint aspirant Sundance (I Am Invincible–Pacific Dreams, by Desert Prince) to Warwick Farm tomorrow in a raid that may lead to a tilt at the Summer Sprint at the Gold Coast a week later, reports theage.com.au. Following an ultra impressive 2.3-length victory at the Sunshine Coast on Boxing Day, Edmonds is banking on a fitness edge as he takes on the dashing pair of race favourite Mr Manhatttan and Oxford Poet, who is returning from a spell. Edmonds mused, "There's good speed in these types of races. They might not be that tuned up, who knows?" He added, "It's an ideal race and with 53kg he fits the bill. I'm not sure if he'll lead or sit outside of them, but he'll be bang up there. [His settling position] will be determined by the pace." As for backing up in the Magic Millions Summer Sprint seven days later Edmonds gave little away, "It will be difficult [to back Sundance up], but we'll have a look at it… Logistically it can be difficult, but we're not that far away from anywhere at the moment which is good."