Ortensia in top form
Ortensia looking to impress at Haydock
Last Updated: September 7, 2012 10:06am
Ortensia: Runs in the Betfred Sprint Cup
Trainer Paul Messara is confident Ortensia remains at the top of her game as she aims to sign off her British adventure with victory in the Betfred Sprint Cup at Haydock on Saturday.
Following a blistering performance in the Al Quoz Sprint on Dubai World Cup night at Meydan, the Australian speedball was expected to take the sprinting scene by storm at Royal Ascot.
Although she finished down the field when favourite for the King's Stand Stakes, Ortensia ran with more credit when fourth in a heavy-ground July Cup, and has since registered impressive victories at Glorious Goodwood and in the Nunthorpe at York.
Messara, whose filly has been based in Newmarket, said: "The faster the ground the better for her and I think she's 100 per cent.
"Certainly the way she trotted out (on Thursday morning) was the best she's trotted out in a while.
"I'm not sure how the draw (stall 15 of 15 runners) is going to work out, but I'm not too concerned.
"As long as she gets a clear passage, I'll be happy.
"It's a strong field and the media seem to be talking up Bated Breath as he will like the course and the ground, so I'm sure he'll be hard to beat.
"We're very happy with our mare - I wouldn't be running her otherwise - and she's had quite an easy time since York.
"This will be her last run in Europe, so she'll be jetting off home afterwards."
Messara admits it was a huge relief when William Buick declared his availability to ride Ortensia.
The in-form jockey has partnered the mare on her last three starts, but was in danger of missing out as he is committed to riding Nathaniel for boss John Gosden in Saturday evening's Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown.
Buick will now do a double shift, flying from Haydock to Ireland after the Sprint Cup.
"I'm delighted William is able to ride her. He's ridden her to two wins and it was a good run in the July Cup, so he knows her well now," said Messara.
Buick does not envisage the step up to six furlongs being a problem.
He said: "I think her running style suggest six furlongs will suit her.
"She's a very good mare, but Bated Breath will probably get his ground this time so it will be a tough race.
"I think Bated Breath has had a couple of things not go in his favour this season - like the ground - so if the real Bated Breath turns up, I think he will give us a race."