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Houtzen could contest more races during the English summer

Trainer Toby Edmonds will wait to see how Australian sprinter Houtzen comes through her unplaced King’s Stand Stakes run before confirming whether the mare contests more races during the English summer.

Houtzen’s chances in the Group One sprint at Royal Ascot on Tuesday (Wednesday AEST) were dealt a blow when the mare knuckled at the start.

Ridden by star Australian jockey Kerrin McEvoy, Houtzen recovered to race near the pace before fading at the business end of the race to finish eighth, with Godolphin-owned sprinter Blue Point beating Battaash for the second year in a row.

“I just think she anticipated the start. She actually began really quickly but then stumbled at her next stride,” Edmonds told RSN927.

“She went down on her nose and it probably just took a little bit away from her.

“I don’t think it really changed anything. We might have finished a bit closer, but the two sprinters from here were dominant and we were beaten soundly.

“But certainly the start didn’t help.

“That can happen. Unfortunately it happened today.

“As soon as it happened it was a big let-down. Anyway, she recovered and raced reasonably well until the pressure went on and then her condition gave way a bit.”

Edmonds said it was a testing race after rain fell and believed Houtzen would improve.

“We’ll just make sure she pulls up OK and decide whether we drive on, or we don’t,” he said.

“They whisk them away pretty quick and they go back down to the stabling area so it was quite a long way away. (Edmonds’ son) Trent was with her so I had a good chat to him and he seems to think she is OK.”

The trainer and part-owners Aquis could follow the path taken in 2012 by Australian mare Ortensia.

After finishing ninth in the King’s Stand, Ortensia won the Group Two King George at Goodwood and the Group One Nunthorpe at York, both over 1000m.

“I don’t think those (King’s Stand) sprinters would go to the races we’re going to go for, so yes I think she can be competitive,” Edmonds said.

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