Ortensia finished underneath the roses for a well-deserved Group 1 victory in The Galaxy at Randwick on Saturday. And trainer Tony Noonan believes the best is still ahead of the Testa Rossa mare.
Ortensia (4m Testa Rossa – Aerate’s Pick by Picnicker) was a G2 winner of the QTC Cup at Eagle Farm and G2 Winterbottom Stakes at Ascot last year before her ground-breaking Group 1 on Saturday.
Noonan is weighing up whether to set her for the G1 KrisFlyer Sprint in Singapore on May 17 or stay home for an ambitious winter programme that includes the G1 BTC Sprint, Doomben 10,000, Stradbroke Hcp and Winter Stakes.
“We might even go to Singapore and then come straight back for the Queensland carnival!” Noonan predicted. “I’ll check the quarantine regulations this week.
“The KrisFlyer is a million-dollar race and we’ve got unfinished business in Brisbane. She was a bit stiff in the Stradbroke last year.”
Noonan rates Ortensia as the best horse he’s trained. “She’s only lightly raced and has really filled out into a magnificent mare now. “She’s very competitive. Just like a footballer who gets white line fever.”
Ortensia is from an unraced half-sister to G3 Melbourne winners Intelligent Star (Picnicker) and Blaze The Turf (Blazing Sword) and The Galaxy sent her bank account past $1.13 million.
Her sire Testa Rossa has been represented by 303 winners at a high-tide 71% strike-rate. He was initially stationed at Yallambee Stud before transferring to Vinery in the Hunter Valley.
Testa Rossa has sired 26 stakes winners and Ortensia is his third at the elite level after Rostova (who finished fifth in The Galaxy) and 2006 South Australian Derby winner Testafiable.
Testa Rossa has a front-line candidate to claim another SAJC Derby (2400m) at Morphettville on May 2. His Cranbourne based gelding Red Colossus will go into the classic after Listed wins in the Port Adelaide Guineas (1800m) and Chairmans Stakes (2000m).
Red Colossus (3g Testa Rossa – Palace Glow by Palace Music) is raced in partnership by Nick Psaltis and David Moodie who is still on Cloud 9 after Crystal Lily’s Golden Slipper triumph.
The Contract Racing gelding is nothing like his older half-sister Nediym’s Glow (General Nediym). She was a flying machine winning the G3 VRC Thoroughbred Breeders Stakes and MRC Blue Diamond Prelude.
“Red Colossus takes a long time to get into his rhythm and the SA Derby trip will be ideal.” trainer Greg Eurell said. “The more he races the better he’s going to get and we haven’t seen the best of him yet. He will be an even stronger racehorse next preparation.”