Connections of top class Australian mare Ortensia were praying for a mid-field gate and came up with barrier five in the huge 23-horse field for the King’s Stand Stakes 2012 at England’s Royal Ascot on Tuesday, June 19.
The official barrier draw for the £300,000 Group 1 King’s Stand Stakes (1000m) was conducted overnight Australian time, the Paul Messara-trained Testa Rossa mare one of the big winners in barrier five.
Last seen taking out the Group 1 Al Quoz Sprint (1000m) at Meydan on Dubai World Cup night back on March 31, Ortensia will reunite with ace hoop Craig Williams for the 2012 King’s Stands Stakes tomorrow as she vies for another elite level win overseas.
The Australian-bred Williams is currently riding in Japan and will make the trip over to England especially for the ride.
While on paper barrier five reads like a dream Messara is a little concerned that she won’t have enough room to wind up from that close to the rails, especially with all the traffic in the big field.
“The field could go either side of the course, they might split or come straight up the middle,” Messara said just before the barriers were released.
“This mare needs plenty of galloping room and I wouldn’t like to see her drawn near the rails, having to duck and weave her way through a field.
“There will be a lot of traffic, a lot of horses to get around so the size of the field is definitely a concern.
“Luck in running is going to play a major part in the result,
“These types of races which have huge numbers, really anything can happen.”
The dual Winterbottom Stakes winner is the dominant $4.50 favourite in the latest King’s Stand Stakes odds at the Australian bookmakers after the draw, her closest rival being local sprinter Bated Breath on $6.
Bated Breath also drew nicely in barrier eight, the last start Haydock Park winner still not a confirmed starter with the horse to be saved for a clash with Black Caviar in Saturday’s Diamond Jubilee Stakes if the ground is too soft for the King’s Stand.
Messara has been working Ortensia at Newmarket up Bury Hill in preparation for the undulating Royal Ascot course and is confident she is fit enough for the uphill test.
“It has been very important for her preparation to work up these hills,” Messara said.
“They use slightly different muscle groups when doing hill work here to what they are used to in Australia where the tracks are mainly flat.
“We got the mare here nice and early and she has got used to galloping uphill.”
Other early fancies in the markets include Robert Collet’s flying French filly Wizz Kid ($6.50) to be ridden by former Melbourne Cup winning hoop Gerald Mosse, Al Quoz Sprint runner-up Sole Power ($9) and Hong Kong galloper Little Bridge ($13) last seen in April winning back-to-back races at Sha Tin.
In other King’s Stand Stakes news Black Caviar’s jockey Luke Nolen will gear up for his big assignment on the weekend with a ride in Tuesday’s classic aboard the Jeremy Gask-trained Medicean Man, the $51 roughie in barrier three.
The full 2012 King’s Stand Stakes field, barriers and jockeys can be found in the table below.
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2012 King’s Stand Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
Royal Ascot, England, 19/06/2012
|1 (20)||80/221-4||Amour Propre 18||6||9-4||H Candy||Dane O’Neill|
|2 (8)||29228-1||Bated Breath 24||5||9-4||R Charlton||J Doyle|
|3 (23)||13239-6||Dinkum Diamond (IRE) 69||4||9-4||H Candy||D Sweeney|
|4 (14)||323-103||Hamish McGonagall 16||7||9-4||T D Easterby||D Allan|
|5 (16)||452-213||Joy And Fun (NZ) 80||9||9-4 p||D Cruz||B Doyle|
|6 (7)||14-7611||Little Bridge (NZ) 51||6||9-4 t||C S Shum||Zac Purton|
|7 (18)||18020-8||Masamah (IRE) 24||6||9-4 p1||K A Ryan||J P Spencer|
|8 (3)||0-57553||Medicean Man 10||6||9-4 p||J Gask||L Nolen|
|9 (12)||124420||Monsieur Joe (IRE) 24||5||9-4||R M H Cowell||William Buick|
|10(13)||17-4907||Prohibit 16||7||9-4 p||R M H Cowell||Jim Crowley|
|11(19)||1246-83||Secret Asset (IRE) 30||7||9-4 h||Jane Chapple-Hyam||G Baker|
|12(22)||039-222||Sole Power 24||5||9-4||E Lynam||J P Murtagh|
|13 (6)||3-22432||Spirit Quartz (IRE) 18||4||9-4||R M H Cowell||L Dettori|
|14(21)||00095-1||Stone Of Folca 17||4||9-4 h||J R Best||L Morris|
|15 (9)||10011-7||Tangerine Trees 24||7||9-4 v||B Smart||T Eaves|
|16(11)||410-800||Margot Did (IRE) 45||4||9-1 v1||M L W Bell||Hayley Turner|
|17(10)||4156-55||Night Carnation 45||4||9-1||A M Balding||J Fortune|
|18 (5)||67011-1||Ortensia (AUS) 80||7||9-1 b||P Messara||Craig A Williams|
|19(15)||1552-51||Wizz Kid (IRE) 16||4||9-1||Robert Collet||G Mosse|
|20 (2)||110-9||Bapak Chinta (USA) 24||3||8-12||K A Ryan||P Makin|
|21 (4)||5111-02||Stepper Point 16||3||8-12||W R Muir||Martin Dwyer|
|22(17)||313-263||Caledonia Lady 33||3||8-9||J Hughes||P Hanagan|
|23 (1)||76161-2||Ponty Acclaim (IRE) 33||3||8-9||T D Easterby||T E Durcan|