Trainer Paul Messara is ecstatic with the condition of Ortensia in the leadup to the latest test of her overseas campaign.

The Testa Rossa mare will compete in the Nunthorpe (1000m) at York this weekend and Messara struggled to hold back his excitement ahead of the Group 1 sprint.


Paul Messara is ecstatic with Ortensia's condition ahead of the Nunthorpe. Photo by: Sarah Ebbett

“She looks great, she’s in fabulous condition,” Messara told Sky Sports Radio.

“Her coat is absolutely immaculate, she’s a picture of health and she worked very well this morning.

“She’s just about as good as we could have her.”

It will be the fourth start of a tough British campaign for Ortensia who tasted success earlier this month in the Group 2 King George Stakes after failing to make an impact in two previous outings.

The dual Group 1 winner got conditions to suit with a good track at Goodwood for the King George and was able to sit just off the pace before delivering a typically explosive finish.

Messara confirmed similar race tactics would be adopted this weekend but admitted it stands as a far tougher assignment than at Goodwood.

“We’ll be looking to settle off the speed and finish off,” Messara said.

“Final declarations are Wednesday but it’s going to be a big field and very competitive.”

The seven-year-old struggled first-up in the King’s Stand Stakes before labouring on a heavy track to finish fourth in the July Cup.

If the successful sprinter can win on Saturday she will achieve the remarkable feat of scoring Group 1 victory in three continents.

Ortensia won the Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) in Perth last November and also took top honours in the Al Quoz Sprint (1000m) at the Dubai World Cup meeting in March.

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