Houtzen led from start to finish to record a most impressive victory in the 2017 Magic Millions Classic at the Gold Coast this afternoon.
Houtzen was one of the first horses out of the gate and jockey Jeff Lloyd elected to ride the I Am Invincible filly aggressively in the early stages of the race to take up the running.
The talented filly set a quick tempo throughout and she had the majority of the Magic Millions Classic field off the bit coming around the turn before she kicked away from her rivals at the top of the straight.
Toby Edmonds was devastated when Houtzen was allocated the outside barrier and he tossed up changing his tactics with the two-year-old, but he made the winning decision to instruct Lloyd to take up the running.
“She was the best filly today and Jeff was really aggressive,” Edmonds said.
“She probably ran through the bridle a bit and she got a little tired, but it was such a great effort.
“I left it to Jeff basically because we had been through the race so many times.
“The way the track had been playing today we even talked about riding her different, but when I got here I said ‘bugger it, if we take her out of her pattern it might not work and lets just roll and see what happens’.
“Magic Millions for us is everything, it is our hometown Carnival.
“It has been a dream come true.”
Veteran hoop Jeff Lloyd has ridden Houtzen in all three of her race starts and Edmonds was quick to pay credit to the decisiveness that the premiership winning jockey showed in the early stages of the Magic Millions Classic.
“He is 55-years-old and he is still riding $1 million winners,” Edmonds said.
“He is such a great tactician.
“He doesn’t give much away and it is very hard to get a feel on his mannerisms and his demeanour, but he is so good tactically.”
Lloyd’s riding career looked like it was over when he suffered a stroke in 2013 and there were concerns that he would not survive, let alone ride a horse again.
Lloyd not only returned to racing, but has become the dominant force in the Queensland jockey ranks and he was clearly emotional to add another feature win to his 90+ Group 1 wins all-around the world.
“She did it all and she did it tough,” Lloyd said.
“She didn’t really come back to me and I had concerns throughout the race because I thought she might have got across too quick and was doing too much.
“She had had enough in the last 50, but she was entitled to.”
Chauffeur stormed home for second in an eye-catching run and Madeenaty was able to tough it out on the speed for third.