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Ortensia trainer Paul Messara is desperately hoping for sunshine ahead of Tuesday’s 2012 King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot.
The successful mare has an explosive turn of foot and Messara is worried that may be nullified if Royal Ascot delivers a slow or heavy track for the feature sprint.
“It is a bit of a concern,” Messara said.
“She does have a devastating turn of foot when she’s right and that slow ground might take away a bit of that dash.”
The Testa Rossa mare heads into the race in excellent form, having won her last three starts including the Group 1 Al Quoz Sprint in Dubai in March.
She has not lost since being transferred to Messara from Tony Noonan and is currently being offered as a $5.50 equal favourite with Bated Breath in pre-post betting markets for Tuesday’s race.
Messara has experience taking horses to Royal Ascot, with Alverta finishing third in the Group 1 July Cup in 2010.
The July Cup third-place effort came on the back of a disappointing 14th in the Golden Jubilee Stakes and Messara said he learnt a lot from his first UK trip.
“We had a few problems travelling last time,” Messara said.
It was well documented our horse lost a lot of weight and this time we wanted to be sure to get here early, get acclimatised and give ourselves every chance.”
Ortensia has been based at Newmarket since taking out the Al Quoz Sprint and Messara said she is in great condition to produce a fourth consecutive win.
Depending how the mare recovers, Messara said he may also enter her to take on wonder mare Black Caviar in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes on Saturday week.
Ortensia boasts an excellent career record of 11 wins from 30 starts and has collected more than $2 million in prize money.
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