Testa Rossa mare Ortensia is expected to bounce back to form in the G1 July Cup at Newmarket this Saturday.
Trainer Paul Messara confirmed her chances were severely compromised last time out in the G1 King’s Stand Stakes. She failed to handle the pre-race atmosphere at Royal Ascot and failed to pick up before fading to ninth behind Hong Kong raider Little Bridge.
“She really broke out in quite a sweat,” Messara said. “She was agitated and had run her race before we saddled her up.
“She pulled up with a bit of a sore back and whacked one of her joints but everything has settled down and I think the Newmarket environment is better. We’ve done a bit of paddock schooling prior to her work here so we’re hoping it will be more suitable on Saturday.”
Recent Coolmore buy Excelebration has been scratched from the July Cup making it a little easier for the Aussie raiders that also includes Darley entrants Sepoy and Soul.
The July Cup has been something of a hoodoo for the colonials apart from Starspangledbanner in 2010. It has eluded the likes of Choisir, Exceed And Excel, Falkirk, Takeover Target, Bentley’s Biscuit, Scenic Blast, Nicconi and Star Witness.
The Messara-trained Flying Spur mare Alverta ran a bottler at $67 two years ago when third to Starspangledbanner and Equiano. “Ortensia is working really well and I can see her running to her best on Saturday,” Messara added. “We prefer firm ground and she will certainly be competitive.”
Ortensia (6m Testa Rossa – Aerate’s Pick by Picknicker) arrived in England on the back of G1 victories in the WATC Winterbottom Stakes in Perth and Al Quoz Sprint in Dubai. She was a $50,000 buy at the 2007 Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale for owners Alister Fraser, Emma Ridley and Annie Fraser.
Vinery stallion Testa Rossa has sired 41 stakes winners and they have won a total of 64 stakes races. His yearling brother to Ortensia was purchased for $130,000 by Edward O’Dwyer at the 2012 Gold Coast Magic Millions.
July Cup betting: $4 Bated Breath $7 Society Rock $8 Ortensia $9 Strong Suit $12 Power $12 Sepoy $13 Hoof It $13 Libranno $15 Fire Lily $15 Sirius Prospect $17 Soul