Scone trainer Paul Messara took time out from preparing stable star Ortensia for the G1 King’s Stand Stakes this week to correct the perception he’s a private trainer for Arrowfield Stud.
Messara, 34, has built up a winning strike-rate better than 21% and there’s been none better than Ortensia’s brilliant Group 1 win in Dubai six weeks ago.
Right now though, as he watches the next group of horses walk out onto the 2000m track at his Scone-based training centre, Messara indicated some of the stable’s best results have been with horses owned by clients other than Arrowfield.
“Arrowfield has been our major client to date,” he said. “It’s understandable why people have made the assumption that I’m its private trainer because we have deliberately built the stable up slowly and methodically.
“Now we have the infrastructure, systems and people to significantly expand our number of horses in work.”
Ortensia’s owners Alister Fraser, his sister Annie and partner Emma Ridley are among Paul’s new clients, after deciding last spring to send their mare to his stable rather than the breeding barn.
Fraser praised Messara after the Testa Rossa mare won the G1 Winterbottom Stakes in Perth late last year. “It’s a magnificent training effort,” he said. “This mare was nearly retired and Paul has brought her back to peak form and had her trained to the minute.”
Messara went to England with Alverta two years ago and she rewarded connections with a magnificent third in the G1 Newmarket July Cup. And taking Ortensia off-shore has given Messara real confidence in his stable’s ability to prepare horses for international competition.
Paul will travel to Newmarket in 10 days to complete her prep for the King Stand Stakes on June 19 at Royal Ascot. “I’m happy with her condition at present. We have a really good team and that’s vital if you are going to travel your horses, interstate or overseas.”