After 29 starts, a positive swab, and a short stint in retirement, six-year-old mare Ortensia finally secured her first Group 1 in the $500,000 Winterbottom Stakes at Ascot last Saturday.
Ortensia won the Winterbottom Stakes by an entire length ahead of Rarefied and Grand Nirvana.
Co-owner Alister Fraser was thrilled his mare was able to produce the win after experiencing disappointment after her Group 1 The Galaxy stripping following her positive swab test last year.
“She just took her position and put the race to bed,” Fraser said of Saturday’s race.
“She seems to be able to put the race to bed from the 300m.
“I just knew we were going to get there.
“It hasn’t really sunk in.”
Fraser was concerned when a successful protest in the race prior delayed the Winterbottom Stakes by ten minutes.
“(Paul Messara) had her trained to the minute, I was just hoping her had an extra ten minutes up his sleeve,” Fraser joked.
Ortensia is likely to be formally retired at the end of next year’s winter carnival and is expected to be served by one of Australia’s leading sires.
“That’s yet to be decided,” Fraser said when asked about a possible sire.
“She was actually booked to Starspangledbanner (this year).
“He would be in the mix.
“He or something like Redoute’s (Choice).”
Fraser plans to keep Ortensia once she embarks on her career as a broodmare.
“I’ve never sold a horse yet so I’ll most likely keep (her),” he said.
“She’s a family horse, my aunt owns a share and so does my sister.
“She’s just been fantastic as us for a family.”
Ortensia has now won 10 of her 29 career starts and earned more than $1.4 million in prize money.