Ortensia will have to contend with a wet track at York Racecourse when she takes part in the Nunthorpe Stakes in England this weekend.
Due to run in the early hours of tomorrow morning Australian time, the Nunthorpe Stakes will be Ortensia’s opportunity to win her first English Group 1 title.
The Testa Rossa mare placed an unexpected ninth in the Group 1 King Stand Stakes during the Royal Ascot Carnival in June, before placing a respectable fourth in heavy conditions at Newmarket in the July Cup.
Ortensia then went on to win the Group 2 King George Stakes at Goodwood in her most recent start on a good track.
Despite her top from going into the Nunthorpe Stakes, the rain affected York racecourse spells problems for Ortensia.
Trainer Paul Messara was disheartened by the unexpected rain, realising that the track conditions hinder the mare’s chances of claiming the win.
“No good news for horses wanting dry ground tomorrow,” Messara posted via twitter.
“Far softer than I expected.
“Would be rated as Heavy in Australia. So frustrating.”
The track conditions also came as a shock to York Racing Club, with the assistant clerk of the course, Anthea Morshead, revealing that the rain had not been forecast.
“We were caught in a line of rain the Met Office hadn’t warned us about,” Morshead said.
“I don’t expect it to dry out now, and if we have more rain it can only get slower.”
Ortensia will be looking to replicate her international success at Meydan earlier this year when she lines up for tomorrow’s Nunthorpe Stakes.
The then six-year-old mare won the Group 1 Al Quoz Sprint in Dubai on March 31, in what was her first overseas race start.
Ortensia has won 12 of her 33 race starts and has earned close to $2.2 million in prize money during her career.