Trainer Paul Messara is confident his Group 1 winning mare Ortensia will recover from a back problem to be fit to run in the Group 1 $1m Darley T J Smith (1200m) at Randwick on April 13.
The weight for age T J Smith is developing into the showcase feature of The BMW Sydney Carnival with super mare Black Caviar heading there along with Hay List and Group 1 bridesmaid Buffering.
Ortenisa was having her second run back in Australia after a successful overseas campaign when she finished down the track behind Shamexpress in the Group 1 $1m Lexus Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington last Saturday.
Messara reported that the seven year old had pulled up with a sore back but with plenty of treatment he is certain that Ortensia will be right to run at Randwick in a month.
“We’re going to press-on at this stage,” Messara said.
“I think we’ll get her back right, but we’re just working on it at the moment.”
“Our plan was always to go to the T J Smith Stakes and I think we will get her there.”
Messara was toying with the idea of going back to Dubai this month to give Oretnsia the chance of defending her crown in the Group 1 US$1m Al Quoz Sprint (1000m) at Meydan on March 30 but has decided to stay on in Australia.
The Al Quoz Sprint was the middle leg of Ortenisa’s three Group 1 wins and was sandwiched in between her win in the 2011 Group 1 $500,000 Crown Perth-Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) at Ascot, Perth on November 24 and her victory down the straight at York in England in the Group 1 £250,000 The Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes (5 furlongs).
Leading Melbourne trainer Peter Moody has indicated that Black Caviar could go to Sydney for the T J Smith if she pulls up okay after running the Group 1 $400,000 William Reid Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on March 22.
And John McNair will also head to Randwick with his grand sprinter Hay List providing the seven year old comes through his comeback run at Warwick Farm tomorrow in the Group 2 $175,000 Challenge Stakes (1000m) okay.