Qatar Goodwood Festival prepared for Australian raid as Martyn Meade aims Houtzen at King George Stakes

Martyn Meade will aim Aussie star Houtzen at the King George Stakes during the Qatar Goodwood Festival. Picture: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images
Martyn Meade will aim Aussie star Houtzen at the King George Stakes during the Qatar Goodwood Festival. Picture: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images
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Goodwood is preparing itself for an Australian raid.

Martyn Meade has confirmed he will aim Aussie sprinter Houtzen at the £300,000 Group 2 King George Stakes on Friday, August 2.

The breathtaking five-furlong tear-up is the feature contest on day four of the Qatar Goodwood Festival.

Houtzen, who has switched to Meade’s Wiltshire yard from the care of Queensland-based Toby Edmonds, stumbled out of the stalls before finishing eighth in the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot last week.

But her new trainer is confident the four-year-old I Am Invincible filly will bounce back from that disappointment on the Downs.

Meade said: ‘She’s a nice one to get.

‘We have trained for the owners (Aquis Farm & Partners) before, so she’s going to come here for the rest of this season.

‘I think we’ll stick to five furlongs.

‘The good sprint at Goodwood will be the plan.

‘I’ll just have to assess how she is and see how she adapts to her new surroundings and then make a plan.

‘She has only just arrived with us this week.

‘It was unfortunate what happened in the King’s Stand.

‘It was a long way to come for that to happen and over five furlongs, you simply can’t afford any mistakes. 

‘It was so frustrating but we are very pleased to get her and hopefully she can put her best foot forward.’

Battaash has won the past two renewals of the King George Stakes.

And the five-year-old son of Dark Angel will challenge for an unprecedented third crown this summer.

Trained by Charlie Hills and ridden by Jim Crowley, Battaash was runner-up to Blue Point for the second successive year in the King’s Stand Stakes.

The five-day Qatar Goodwood Festival begins on Tuesday, July 30.

The Group 1 Sussex Stakes is the blue-riband event of the meeting and will take place on Wednesday, July 31.

John Gosden’s King of Comedy is the ante-post favourite for the prestigious mile race, priced at 5/1.

The three-year-old son of Kingman was second to Circus Maximus in the St James’s Palace Stakes last week.

For ticket information, visit goodwood.com/horseracing or call 01243 755055.