Paul Messara’s three time Group 1 winner Ortensia has been retired after finishing unplaced in the Listed $140,000 Prydes Easifeed Ortensia Stakes (1100m) at Scone last Saturday.
The Scone Race Club renamed the 1100m Quality Sprint to be called the Ortensia Stakes in the great mare’s honour and were hoping the locally trained sprinter would go out on a winning note, but that was not to be.
Oretnsia had been a great money spinner for the Messara stable, having won at Group 1 level in three different countries and had the Scone trainer feeling confident going into Saturday’s race.
“I’m happy with her but whether she is going as well as she was twelve months ago is yet to be seen,” Messara said before the race.
Top Sydney jockey Nash Rawiller was having his first ride on Ortensia and let her drift back in the field as is her usual racing pattern, but the dash of old wasn’t there when he urged her along in the straight.
“She felt enormous in the run but she just didn’t want to let down in the firm ground,” Rawiller said.
The Clarry Conners trained Satin Shoes skipped clear in the straight and held on to score her first win since October 2011 with Ortensia labouring into ninth place, four length from the winner.
Messara had contemplated a Brisbane Winter Carnival campaign before calling a halt to her career, but the seven year old mare will now start preparing for the upcoming breeding season.
“She’s won three Group I races for us in three different countries and has proven one of the best sprinters of her generation,” Messara said.
“She’ll make a wonderful broodmare.”
Ortensia is the winner of $2.48 million in prizemoney with thirteen wins from thirty-six starts, the highlight of her career her three Group 1 victories in three different countries.
After winning the 2011 Group 1 $500,000 Crown Perth-Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) at Ascot, Perth on November 24, Messara took Ortensia to Dubai where she won the Group 1 US$1m Al Quoz Sprint (1000m) at Meydan the following March.
Then a trip to England was rewarded with two wins, the Group 2 £100,000 Gordon’s King George Stakes (5 furlongs) at Goodwood and the Group 1 £250,000 The Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes (5 furlongs) in August.