Paul Messara’s top Aussie mare Ortensia failed in her second English assignment over the weekend running fourth to upset all-the-way winner Mayson in the July Cup 2012 at Newmarket Racecourse.
Winner of the Group 1 Al Quoz Sprint in Dubai back in March Ortensia debuted in England on June 19 running a disappointing ninth to Little Bridge in the Group 1 King’s Stand Stakes (1005m).
On Sunday morning (AEST) the Testa Rossa six-year-old lined-up in another elite level as a 7-1 shot but could only manage to finish eight and a half lengths away fourth to the Richard Fahey-trained 20-1 roughie Mayson in the £400,000 Group 1 Darley July Cup (1207m).
Ridden by local hoop William Buick Ortensia loomed in the final few hundred metres but failed to finish the race off, the dual Winterbottom Stakes champ struggling to cope on the Heavy rated track.
Despite the fourth place finish Messara was proud of Ortensia’s effort and said she would stay on in England for another shot at Group 1 glory in the Nunthorpe Stakes (1000m) at York on August 24, the race part of the British Champions Series.
“She hated the track, didn’t handle it at all,” Messara said.
“She’d never run on ground anything like that before.
“On that basis it was a huge run and we’ll see how we go in the Nunthrope.”
Another option is the Haydock Sprint Cup (1200m) o September 8 or even the Prix de l’Abbaye de Longchamp (1000m) in France on Are de Trimphe Day.
Messara was also tight lipped over rumours Ortensia would be sent to a stallion in Europe before returning to Australia.
“That would be up to the owner,” Messara said.
“For the moment she is going to continue racing as she is very competitive against the sprinters over here.”
A known mudlark Mayson lapped up the waterlogged conditions at Newmarket running away with the victory, their fifth from 17 career starts.
The four-year-old Invincible Spirit stallion put an easy five lengths on runner-up The Cheka (14-1) while the more fancied James Fanshawe-trained Society Rock, who jumped the 7-2 favourite following the scratching of former top elect Bated Breath, was a further length away third.
In related news Australian ex-pat Sepoy, formerly prepared down under by Peter Snowden for Darley, ran a terrible 11th beating home just one other runner in the wet.
It was a disappointing end for last year’s Blue Diamond Stakes – Golden Slipper winner who will now being a career at stud, Sepoy to stand for $66,000 during his first season as a stallion back in Australia at Darley Stud.
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