Stradbroke Handicap hero Kerrin McEvoy jets out to England in the coming week to partner Houtzen in the 2019 Group 1 £500,000 The King’s Stand Stakes (5 furlongs) at Royal Ascot on June 18.
McEvoy claimed two of the three Group 1 races at Eagle Farm last Saturday with wins on Trekking in the $1.5m Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) and on Prince Fawaz in the $600,000 Magic Millions J.J. Atkins Plate (1600m).
A delay in getting his visa sorted won’t stop McEvoy from arriving London in time to ride the Toby Edmonds trained Houtzon in the King’s Stand Stakes on the opening day of the five day 2019 Royal Ascot Carnival.
Houtzen will be first up in the King’s Stand Stakes after not racing since finishing tenth of thirteen in the $1m Magic Millions Snippets (1200m) at the Gold Coast in January and has been installed as one of the outsiders of the field at $26 with Ladbrokes.com.au.
Reports from England are that Houtzen has settled in well at Newmarket and impressed with a trip to Ascot to gallop with her stablemate Acqume down the straight in preparation for her Royal Ascot debut.
“It was good to get down there and have a look at the track,” Edmonds told Racenet.
“It’s daunting with the grandstand where it is and it’s such an uphill track, so it’s good for her to get a feel of it.
“We don’t gallop them to break each other. She can go pretty fast if she wants to but it’s not about that, it’s more about getting a bit of fitness into her and getting some experience of the track.
“Oisin (Murphy) rode her and he was very happy with her. She sat behind Acqume until they got into the work, then she just moved up the outside and they came up to the line together pretty strongly.”
Houtzen is the winner of more than $2 million in prizemoney, courtesy of her win in the 2017 $2m Magic Millions 2yo Classic (1200m) at the Gold Coast but is yet to be placed at Group 1 level from five attempts.
Early betting for the 2019 King’s Stand Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au: $3 Battaash, $4 Blue Point, $9 Mabs Cross, $11 Imprimis, Sergi Prokofiev, $13 Soldiers Call, $17 Equilateral, Invincible Army, So Perfect, $21 Bound For Nowhere, Ten Sovereigns, $26 Big Brothers Pride, Houtzen.