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Houtzen leads Queensland's spring raid

Queensland’s 3YO Horse of the Year Houtzen will lead a contingent of Queenslanders aiming to secure spring carnival glory in Melbourne and Sydney this weekend.

The 2016 Magic Millions 2YO Classic winner will look to strike the first blow for the sunshine state in Friday night’s Group 1 Moir Stakes (1000m) at Moonee Valley.

Houtzen faces a return bout with The Everest contender Nature Strip after the latter edged the Toby Edmonds-trained speedster by a short-half head in the G2 McEwen earlier this month.

Queensland Horse of the Year nominee Savanna Amour, which won the Listed Hinkler  before finishing fourth in the G1 Tattersall’s Tiara, will jump from barrier 5 for trainer Chris Meagher.

The race also features runners with form extending from previous Queensland Winter and Summer Carnivals, including;

  • Viddora (MM Sprint)
  • Snitty Kitty (2017 BRC Lightning)
  • Nieta (SC Lightning)
  • Jungle Edge (2017 BRC Sprint, 2017 Kingsford-Smith Cup)
  • Voodoo Lad (Stradbroke)    

On Saturday, Sunshine Coast trainer David Vandyke will saddle-up Baccarat Baby as she aims for six straight wins in the Group 1 Flight Stakes (1600m) at Randwick.

Baccarat Baby impressed to win against the pattern of the day at Doomben two weeks ago when guided by Michael Hellyer, who will take his first Group 1 ride. 

“This is her hardest race but she’s in winning form and we know she’ll run 1600 metres,” Vandyke told RQ Webnews earlier today.

Winter and summer form is on show throughout the day at Randwick in the name of Redzel, Egg Tart, Santa Ana Lane, Music Magnate, In Her Time, Pierata and Champagne Cuddles, just to name a few.

Vandyke will then hope to secure a run for first emergency Asharani in the Thousand Guineas Prelude at Caulfield on Sunday.

“Asharani is in good shape in Melbourne and trialled there last week,” Vandyke said.

Asharani looks to bounce back from a disappointing ninth at Doomben last start, after which she was ordered to trial before returning to the races.