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Australian mare Ortensia will be gunning for a third consecutive victory in the UK when she contests the Group 1 2012 Sprint Cup (1200m) at Haydock on Saturday week.
After two failed starts in the UK, where the daughter of Testa Rossa had genuine excuses, she has hit a purple patch of form to take out the Group 2 King George Stakes and the Group 1 Nunthorpe Stakes.
The Nunthorpe win was her third at the top level, having also won the Winterbottom Stakes in Perth last year as well as the Al Quoz Sprint on Dubai World Cup night in March.
Despite a wet track, Ortenisa was still able to show a terrific turn of foot and came from worse than midfield at the half way point to chase down leader Spirit Quartz.
If the mare is able to get on a dry track at Haydock, trainer Paul Messara sees no reason as to why she can’t make it three consecutive victories.
“If the mare goes into it 100 percent and she gets a decent track she should be very hard to beat again,” Messara said.
The Nunthorpe was a gruelling hitout for the multiple Group 1 winner and Messara admitted it did take
“We are very proud of her efforts but it did take a little bit out of her,” he said.
“She seems to have progressed well since her last start. It was certainly her toughest race so far. She knew she had a run the next day.”
A winner of 13 of 34 starts, Ortensia boasts a career prize pool of more than $2 million.
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