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Star mare Houtzen will go through the ring at Keeneland this week

From the Gold Coast to Royal Ascot to Keeneland … a rare journey indeed … the story of Houtzen will open a new page when she parades as Lot 31 at the Keeneland Sales in Lexington, Kentucky this week.

Houtzen, is being offered in foal to Curlin, the 2007 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner.

Houtzen, who raced with distinction for Gold Coast based trainer Toby Edmonds, won the Magic Millions Two-Year-Old Classic in 2017 by a runaway four-and-a-half lengths under Jeff Lloyd in only her third career start. She then extended her unbeaten run at her next start before finishing fifth in the Golden Slipper behind She Will Reign.

Only three wins (two in Group 3 company and one in a Listed race) would follow in the next fifteen starts which took Houtzen to the end of her career, but that schedule also included two placings in the Group 2 McEwen Stakes in back to back runnings of that event, and a three-and-a-quarter length defeat by Redzel in the 2017 running of The Everest.

In June 2018, Toby Edmonds took Houtzen to Royal Ascot where she unfortunately knuckled at the start and trailed in eighth out of twelve runners in the Group 1 Kings Stand.

When Edmonds returned to Australia after the Kings Stand run, Houtzen stayed behind in England, transferring to the stable of Martyne Meade where she added to her record by running second to the very well performed Battaash in the Group 2 King George Stakes at Goodwood.

Houtzen, who was knocked down for $105,000 at the Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale in 2016 from the Yarraman Park Stud draft, finished her career with prize-money of $2.1 million.

Then it was time for her breeding barn adventure which has followed the path which has now brought her to the famous Keeneland Sales complex where the daughter of I Am Invincible will be offered for sale by Aquis Farm.

Being in foal to Curlin will be an obvious drawcard. Curlin’s daughter, the exceptionally well performed Stellar Wind, was one of the top sellers in the 2017 Keeneland Sale being knocked down to Coolmore for $6 million.

Curlin raced sixteen times for eleven wins and four placed finishes while raking in US$10.5 million in prize-money. His Group 1 victories including the Dubai World Cup, the Preakness and the Breeders’ Cup Classic.

At stud, amongst other success stories, Curlin was the leading sire of million-dollar sale yearlings in 2019, sire of the 2019 record-setting US$3.6 million two-year-old colt in 2019 and the leading sire of yearling and juvenile sales in 2019. His accumulative progeny sales monetary total to date exceeds US$142 million. He stands at a stud fee of US$175 000.

So, at what price will the hammer come down on Houtzen this week?

Whatever it is, without doubt, there will be plenty of interest in that figure, both local and abroad.

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