She may have run a disappointing 11th in her Oakleigh Plate return when caught out by a 58kg weight allocation but globetrotting mare Ortensia can bounce back in this Saturday’s Newmarket Handicap 2013 when she drops back to 56.5kg according to trainer Paul Messara.
Scone-based Messara has prepared the talented daughter of Testa Rossa for all three of her Group 1 triumphs including two international elite levels in the 2012 Al Quoz Sprint in Dubai and the Nunthorpe Stakes in Britain last August.
The now seven-year-old returned to racing after a five and a half month break which followed her failure in the Betfred Sprint Cup at Haydock Park in September on February 23 at Caulfield in the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m).
She was rated an $11 chance but could only manage to beat home two of her 12 rivals when finishing four and a half lengths away 11th to Mrs Onassis.
Messara knows she has a better run in her than that having recovered from a sore fetlock following the Oakleigh Plate, and is looking for improvement when he backs Ortensia up this weekend in the $1 million Group 1 Lexus Newmarket Handicap (1200m) which drew a final field of 14 hopefuls.
“The fetlock is fine. She is happy and healthy and I think that race has mentally switched her back on,” Messara said.
It is a talented line-up she will face too with the likes of Group 1 winning Perth duo Luckygray and Barakey, Peter Moody’s Rupert Clarke champ Moment Of Change and flying young Brisbane colt Better Than Ready.
But Messara is confident Ortensia can account for her rivals, the mighty mare to jump from gate nine with Dwayne Dunn to ride replacing Craig Williams who is committed to ride rival Better Than Ready, the trainer over the moon with her 56.5kgs.
“The weight in the Newmarket was very attractive. If she brings her A-game, she will be really competitive,” he said.
“I thought we would get a bit more weight than we did.
“With that weight, if she runs up to her work, she will be really competitive.”
With a return trip to Dubai to defend her title in the Al Quoz ruled out, Messara said he was next considering Ortensia for the $1 million Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on April 13.
Updated Newmarket Handicap betting markets on the final field are due out at our No. 1 recommended bookie bookmaker.com.au shortly.
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