Aussie mar likely to redeem on King’s Stand showing
- by:Ray Thomas in England
- From:The Daily Telegraph
- July 09, 2012 12:00am
Paul Messara hopes Ortensia can recapture the form that saw the mare win the Al Quoz Sprint in Dubai earlier this year.
TRAINER Paul Messara didn’t get to England in time to watch Ortensia’s track gallop over Newmarket’s July Cup course last Thursday – but there has been plenty of onlookers willing to tell him about the mare’s impressive workout.
Ortensia gave her galloping companion a lesson, putting a gap of an estimated 20 lengths between her and the lead horse at the end of six furlongs (1200m).
Messara arrived in England last Friday and said he has received nothing but glowing reports about his brilliant mare’s gallop in preparation for the Group 1 July Cup at Newmarket on Saturday.
“It is the second time she has been on the July Cup course,” Messara revealed.
“She had an easy workout on the course there the previous week but we wanted her to have a good gallop over it before the race.
“It is quite a unique course but she seemed to handle it very well.
“We got some good, positive feedback from her jockey, Michael Hills, about how she galloped, too.”
Australian jockey Craig Williams rode Ortensia when she finished ninth in the Group 1 King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot earlier this month but the mare will have a new jockey at Newmarket.
Messara revealed champion English jockey William Buick has been booked to ride Ortensia.
Buick, 23, who is challenging Ryan Moore for the English jockeys title this year, has won four Group 1 races this month alone, including Saturday’s Eclipse Stakes on Nathaniel.
“It’s good to have a rider with local knowledge,” Messara said.
Ortensia, winner of the Group 1 Al Quoz Sprint in Dubai earlier this year, started favourite at Royal Ascot but has become something of a forgotten horse for the July Cup with English bookies offering as much as 16/1 about the Aussie mare.
“There were a few excuses for what happened at Royal Ascot,” Messara said.
“I think you will see a different horse in the July Cup – she is going as well as ever.”
Ortensia isn’t likely to be the only Australian presence at Newmarket.
Godolphin is expected to run 2011 Golden Slipper winner Sepoy and talented Soul in the July Cup.
Sepoy hasn’t started since failing at the Dubai World Cup meeting. A five-time Group 1 winner under trainer Peter Snowden, Sepoy is likely to have his final race start in the July Cup before returning to Australia to stand at Darley Stud in the Hunter Valley next spring.
Soul, also previously trained by Snowden, ran a blinder to finish fourth behind Black Caviar in the Golden Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Jockey Buick On Ortensia In Sat UK Gr1 July Cup
UK jockey William Buick has been booked to ride Australia’s dual Gr1-winning 6YO mare Ortensia (Testa Rossa-Aerate’s Pick, by Picnicker) in Saturday’s Gr1 July Cup (6 furlongs) at Newmarket. Ortensia is currently 12-1 in early betting markets & trainer Paul Messara told UK At The Races: “She’s still working really well & I can see her running her best on Saturday. She worked on the course proper here (last Friday) & I’m very pleased with her going into the race. We prefer the track the firmer the better – it’s no doubt the track here is very soft, but if she can run up to her best, she can be involved in the finish. We expect her to bounce back (from 9th in last month’s Gr1 Kings Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot) & she’ll certainly be competitive.”