Globetrotting mare Ortensia has opened equal favourite to win the race named in her honour during the Scone Cup Carnival this weekend, the now locally trained star out to win the 2013 Ortensia Stakes which could be her swansong assignment before retirement.
The last of five stakes races on the Scone program on Saturday, the $140,000 Listed Prydes Easifeed Ortensia Stakes (1100m) drew a capacity field of 16 starters plus three emergencies.
One of those emergencies however has officially been withdrawn already with the Chris Waller-trained Riva De Lago to race in the $140,000 Listed Luskin Star Stakes (1300m) earlier on the day instead.
Testa Rossa seven-year-old Ortensia meanwhile heads the Ortensia Stakes field and weights, the triple Group 1 winner to carry a hefty 62kg from barrier four with Nash Rawiller aboard.
Originally trained by Tony Noonan Ortensia moved into the care of Scone-based Paul Messara late in 2011 and won her opening three starts for him including her first Group 1 in that year’s Winterbottom Stakes; she also won the 2010 Winterbottom when the race only held Group 2 status.
From there Ortensia went overseas and took out the 2012 Al Quz Sprint in Dubai before embarking on an English campaign where she won two of her five starts including the Group 1 Nunthorpe Stakes.
Returning to Australia Ortensia had two runs earlier in the autumn, both disappointing efforts when 11th to Mrs Onassis in the Group 1Oakleigh Plate and then 12th to Shamexpress in the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap.
Messara is hoping the veteran can return to form this weekend at her home track on the back of a good third in a 1050m barrier trial at Randwick earlier in the month.
Despite her poor recent form and the big weight the bookies are taking no chances with Ortensia and she pays $6 in the current Ortensia Stakes odds.
If she races well Messara said they would head to Queensland chasing the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival riches but it all depended on the mare and they would take things day by day.
“She is probably not in as good a form as she was this time last year when she was winning Group 1 races in Dubai and England,” Messara said.
“But she is healthy, fit and well, and her trackwork has been pleasing.
“If she runs well at Scone, we will take her to Queensland for the carnival. But it all depends on how she goes on Saturday.
“The weight makes it a big ask for her but Scone should suit her and she is going to run.”
Messara will also be represented in the Ortensial Stakes on Saturday by 2010 Stradbroke Handicap third placegetter Mic Mac, a $15 chance, who is the 61kg second top weight and who has drawn disastrously wide with gate 17.
“Mic Mac has 61kg on Saturday because he still has a high rating,” Messara said of the horse that has run just two races in three years after fracturing their cannon bone.
“I have no option but to run him but it is a difficult system when you have had a horse that has had so little racing.
“In his situation, he should almost be allowed to start as an open horse again.”
Equal at the top of the markets is then fellow $6 chance Emotional Circus drawn ideally in barrier three meeting Ortensia a huge eight kilograms better in the weights with 54kg.
There are then two other single-figure fancies with Emotional Circus’ stablemate the fellow Kris Lees-trained Motspur ($7) who is a rising 11-year-old, and Peter Snowden’s consistent stakes performing General Nediym mare Anise ($9).
Other genuine chances at slightly longer prices then include Tamworth-based sprinter Border Rebel ($11), Canberra visitor Zaratone ($11), Sharnee Rose ($12) who was fourth in last year’s Gorup 1 Schweppes Oaks (2000m) in Adelaide, the rails-drawn Snitzel four-year-old I Get Around ($12) and the Clarry Conners-trained Satin Shoes.
See below for the full 2013 Ortensia Stakes horses and odds, prices provided by our No. 1 recommended online bookie bookmaker.com.au.
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2013 Ortensia Stakes Odds
Scone Race 8 – 4:30pm (AEST) – 18/05/2013
|2||MIC MAC (17)||15.00|
|3||SATIN SHOES (18)||13.00|
|4||BORDER REBEL (5)||11.00|
|7||EMOTIONAL CIRUCS (3)||6.00|
|11||SHARNEE ROSE (6)||12.00|
|12||JEST CREWSIN’ (9)||61.00|
|13||I GET AROUND (1)||12.00|
|14||SUTTON QUEEN (16)||81.00|
|15||TEXAN LAD (15)||34.00|
|18e||RIVA DE LAGO (14)||–|
*Fixed Win Odds provided by bookmaker.com.au and subject to change