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Ortensia Claims Group 1 Nunthorpe In England
25th Aug 2012
Globe-trotting sprinter Ortensia claimed her second international Group 1 event for 2012 in England overnight, taking out a thrilling Nunthorpe Stakes over 1000m at York.
ORTENSIA ($50,000 2007 Premier, 7m Testa Rossa-Aerate’s Pick) was settled in her customary position towards the back of the field under William Buick, but rushed past all 16 rivals in front of her with superior closing sectionals of 10.40s and 10.87s over the final two furlongs. The Australia-bred galloper stuck her head out right on the line to record a neck victory over Spirit Quartz, with Hamish McGonagall a further length away in third.
Replay of the 2012 Group 1 Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes can be viewed HERE
The Paul Messara trained mare earned an invitation into the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint for her victory in the Nunthorpe, which became part of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series in 2011.
"It's fabulous. It's the most amazing feel. To win a big one over here is a huge thrill,” Messara said after the win.
"I walked the track this morning and again thought we didn't have a chance. I just thought it was too soft for her to show her acceleration. Anyway, we're here and she's done it, just,” Messara said.
Friday’s win took Ortensia’s record to an impressive 13 victories and seven placings from 34 starts with prizemoney close to $2.5million
Ortensia has given her owners Alister Fraser, Annie Fraser and Emma Ridley a fantastic ride over the past nine months, with the Nunthorpe being the galloper’s third Group 1 victory following Perth’s Winterbottom Stakes and Dubai’s Al Quoz Sprint. Three Group 1 wins on three different continents.
Bred by Len Rhodes and sold from his Riverside Stud draft at the 2007 Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale to renowned bloodstock agent Steve Brem for $50,000, Ortensia joins Black Caviar, Starspangledbanner, Takeover Target and Choisir as Australian-bred and Inglis-sold gallopers to score at Group 1 level in England in recent years.
Australian breeders will be most familiar with the Nunthorpe Stakes through 1986 winner Last Tycoon, which went on to be the leading sire in Australia in 1993/94. Other recent winners of the 90 year old race include successful sires Oasis Dream, Stravinsky and Pivotal.
Following the win at York trainer Paul Messara confirmed that Ortensia is now likely to head to Haydock on September 8 for the Betfred Sprint Cup, a race won by Danehill, Invincible Spirit and mostly recently Dream Ahead, which will stand his first southern hemisphere breeding season at Emirates Park at Murrurundi this year. A trip across the English Channel to France for the Prix de l’Abbaye de Longchamp in October is also a possibility for Ortensia.
Photo c/o @JaneChappleHyam