GBI RACING

Aussie speedster Houtzen pleases in Newmarket spin

Ascot racecourse, where Houtzen will make her first start in Britain next month (

Connections of Australian sprinter Houtzen feel she may have been overlooked for the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot.

The Toby Edmonds-trained four-year-old continued her preparations for the Group One prize – for which she is a general 25-1 shot – when taking part in a racecourse gallop under Oisin Murphy alongside stablemate Acqume at Newmarket on Friday.

After jumping off at the four-pole, the pair steadily increased the pace before crossing the line almost together.

Edmonds’ son, Trent, said: “He (Murphy) was stoked about the gallop. She will come on for that. It was good to get her away from the (Newmarket) Heath and get her stirred up.

“She ran Nature Strip to a short head first time up last spring and she didn’t get much luck in two Group Ones after that. If she had won a big Group One, she would be a third of the price (for Ascot).

“She is not going to be out of place and she will give them something to consider, as she is a very fast 1000-metre (five-furlong) specialist. While she is not a Group One winner, she certainly has the ability to win one and that is why we are here.”

Although Houtzen has done most of her racing around a bend, a straight track is not expected to pose a problem.

Edmonds added: “To be fair, she has only had one go down a straight track, in the Coolmore when she ran mid-field, but she didn’t have much luck that day and that’s the story of her life.

“Straight-track racing is not any hassle. We will take her to Ascot a couple of times. We are going there for the first time on Monday and we will probably go later on if they allow us.

“She is really good fresh and we have just got to screw her down for four and a half weeks now.”

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