Testa Rossa mare Ortensia chimed in with a late charge to win the G1 Nunthorpe Stakes at York on Friday. It capped an often frustrating campaign for the Australian star who had been denied firm ground in G1 sprints at Royal Ascot and Newmarket in June and July.
Ortensia was coming off a resounding victory in the G2 King George Stakes when she struck a good surface at Goodwood on August 3.
Ortensia (7m Testa Rossa – Aerate’s Pick by Picnicker) powered home from well back in the field to seal victory by a neck over Spirit Quartz in the Nunthorpe. “I couldn’t believe it when it poured down,” trainer Paul Messara said. “I walked the track this morning and thought it was too soft for her to show her acceleration. It’s the most amazing feeling to win a big one over here.”
Winning jockey William Buick claimed Ortensia is the best 1000 metre horse he’s ridden. ” She’s an amazing mare. I can’t remember riding a horse that can go through so many gears over that distance.”
Messara confirmed Ortensia will to head to the G1 Sprint Cup at Haydock on September 8 for which bookmakers have installed her a 4-1 favourite. She has also qualified for the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint at Santa Anita in November.
Bred by Corowa based Len Rhodes, Ortensia was purchased for $50,000 at the 2007 Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale by Alistair Fraser, Emma Ridley and Annie Fraser. Testa Rossa’s flag-bearer has won 13 races in 34 starts for prizemoney of AUD 2.45 million.
Testa Rossa (Perugino) will stand for a $33,000 (inc gst) service fee at Vinery in 2012.
Testa Rossa mare wins the G1 Nunthorpe Stakes at York