With the announcement from the BRC yesterday of the ‘Australasian Challenge’ the Paul Messara trained Ortensia will become one of the first to benefit.
For those that missed it the BRC will be offering guaranteed entry and all expenses paid travel for winners of selected events to the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap and the Group 1 Queensland Oaks.
One of those races is the Winterbottom Stakes in Perth and as this seasons winner Ortensia already has her name on the list. (For full details of the Australasian Challenge check out the feature story on the main page)
Messara says the idea is a good one and it’ll certainly make the team have a long hard look at Ortensia’s program for the autumn and winter.
“It’s a great idea, we benefit from it, some others which are probably struggling to get in might disagree,” he said.
“I think it’ll attract a stronger group of horses.”
He says the Stradbroke was always an option anyway but this had brought it to the forefront of their minds.
“Definitely a possibility, I got a phone call from the owner and he was obviously very pleased with the news,” he said.
“No plans yet, we’ll just take our time.”
As for more short term goals Messara is similarly vague saying she’s only just out of the paddock and they’ll see how they go.
“She’s come back well and just had her first little bit of work with her this morning,” he said.
“We’ve nom’d her for a few races around the place, a few feature races.
“When she’s ready to go I’ll push the button.”
It’s news that will be received well by the BRC who are currently reporting nothing but positives following yesterdays announcement.