Ortensia’s chances of winning when she appears in Dubai later this month have improved after her biggest two rivals failed to impress in their lead-up races last weekend.
English galloper Prohibit, as well as Americain horse Regally Ready, both finished outside the placings in the Meydan Sprint on Saturday.
Ortensia is due to line up against the two talented sprinters when she makes her Dubai debut in the $US 1 million Al Quoz on March 31.
Trainer Paul Messara was thrilled to see Ortensia’s toughest competition perform below par.
“I’ve been watching the Dubai races for the past couple of weeks,” Messara said.
“Prohibit didn’t really impress on Saturday night and Regally Ready didn’t perform all that well either but it was his first start down the straight.
“If Ortensia travels well I think she will definitely be a player in the race.”
The Al Quoz will be the first time Ortensia has run outside Australia, with the mare having all her 29 race starts in her home country.
The Testa Rossa mare has come a long way since retirement last year, when she was plucked from the paddock to race again by her new trainer after spending much of her career under the guidance of Tony Noonan.
Ortensia then went on to win the elusive Group 1 title she had been chasing for so long in the Winterbottom Stakes at Ascot on November 19 last year.
It was a well-deserved win for the six-year-old mare, who had her first Group 1 win in The Galaxy stripped from her after she tested positive to a prohibited substance after the race.
The substance was found to have no performance enhancing aspects.
Ortensia will now take on the world in what will surely be her final racing season before becoming an extremely valuable broodmare.
“If she brings her best she’ll be right in the finish,” Messara said.
“She’s pretty much ready to go and (racing) first-up in a 1000-metre straight race is perfect for her.”