Ortensia continued the outstanding record of Australian-bred gallopers around the world in the G1 Al Quoz Sprint (1000m) in Dubai on Saturday night.
Ortensia (6m Testa Rossa – Aerate’s Pick by Picknicker) was dropped out to last before jockey Craig Williams asked the mare to switch on at the 300m mark. She turned on a tremendous turn of acceleration to power home for a career-high victory in 57.98s.
The Testa Rossa mare was coming off a G1 victory in Perth’s Winterbottom Stakes in November. “I was starting to sweat at the 400 metres,” trainer Paul Messara said. “I knew she’d be strong late but it was just as case of whether she had enough time. I’ve never jumped so high in my life when she got up.”
Messara said Ortensia will likely join the Australian contingent at Royal Ascot with her target the G1 King’s Stand Stakes (1000m) on June 19. The Scone based trainer took Alverta to England two years ago and the Flying Spur mare rewarded connections with a G1 placing behind Starspangledbanner and Equiano in the July Cup at Newmarket.
Williams issued a warning to European owners and trainers after weighing in. “Racing in Australia is thriving at the moment,” he claimed. “I will go anywhere to ride Ortensia but you guys haven’t seen Black Caviar or Hay List yet!”
Ortensia was a $50,000 buy at the 2007 Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale for owners owner Alister Fraser, his partner Emma Ridley and sister Annie Fraser. She is one of 41 stakes winners by Vinery sire Testa Rossa and they have won a total of 64 stakes races.
Testa Rossa’s yearling brother to Ortensia was purchased for $130,000 by Edward O’Dwyer at the 2012 Gold Coast Magic Millions. Their dam Aerate’s Pick is owned by Riverside Stud’s Len Rhodes and foaled an Encosta de Lago colt in October last year.
Testa Rossa has another 7 yearlings catalogued for the Inglis Easter Yearling Sale between April 10 – 12.