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Trainer Paul Messara will push on to Newmarket with Ortensia even though the tough sprinter sustained an injury when unplaced at Royal Ascot on the opening day of the carnival.


Ortensia will push on to the July Cup at Newmarket - photo © Sarah Ebbett

Messara said a start in the Group 1 £400,000 Darley July Cup (6 furlongs) at Newmarket on July 14 was still on the agenda after Ortensia put in a below par ninth to Little Bridge in the Group 1 £350,000 The King’s Stand Stakes (5 furlongs).

Ortensia has just over three weeks to recover after pulling up with a sore back and Messara will have to work overtime to get the mare back to her best.

“Disappointment yesterday. Ortensia was very worked up prior to running and was dripping with sweat in the parade ring,” Messara said.

“She received a squeeze at the 500 and then had to bump her way clear. Pulled up this morning with a sore back. We will continue to the July.”

Ortensia was sent out the 9-2 equal favourite with French galloper Wizz Kid but failed to respond to the urgings of Craig Williams when Zac Purton on eventual winner Little Bridge put the pressure on at the 200m.

The Testa Rosa mare was searching for her fourth win in succession since Messara took over her training prior to the Spring last year.

After winning a Listed race at Flemington over the Melbourne Cup Carnival, Messara took Ortensia to Perth where she won the Group 1 $505,000 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) at Ascot.

Messara then ventured to Dubai with the mare and took on the international sprinters and proved too strong for them, winning the Group 1 US$1m Al Quoz Sprint (1000m) at Meydan on March 31.

The July Cup has attracted many top class gallopers in the original entries including King’s Stand runner up Bated Breath and super mare Black Caviar as well as the Richard Hannon trained Strong Suit who will be freshened up for the six furlongs.

Peter Moody is still undecided if he will add the July Cup to Black Caviar’s program but the indications were that the mighty mare will only have the one run in England in the Group 1 £500,000 The Diamond Jubilee Stakes (6 furlongs) at Royal Ascot on June 23.

This will suit English trainer Roger Charlton who is happy to dodge the unbeaten mare and miss the Diamond Jubilee with Bated Breath and head to Newmarket.

“Bated Breath’s form has been a model of consistency and confirmed his form yet again with Sole Power, as well as with the winner who had finished a length and a quarter in front of us in Hong Kong in December,” Charlton said.

“At this stage, it is doubtful that he will reappear in the Diamond Jubilee at the weekend, unless something should happen to Black Caviar and Ascot missed the forecast rain due on Thursday and Friday.”

And the Hannon stable are not keen to take on Frankel again over a mile and will consider bringing Strong Suit back to the six furlongs of the July Cup.

“Strong Suit ran very fresh and badly needed the run, which was disappointing, but he lives to fight another day. There is absolutely no point in taking on Frankel again,” said David Redvers, racing manager for owners Qatar Racing.

“I think as long as he stays at a mile you’re going to struggle to get any opposition.”

“We’ll consider the Sussex Stakes if Frankel doesn’t go there, or we might equally go back to six furlongs and supplement for the July Cup.”

“The Hannon team have said all along he’s got so much speed that going back in trip would be firmly an option, but we’ll let the dust settle and see. The race that could be most up his street is the Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville, which is over six and a half furlongs.”

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.


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