Ortensia dominates King George at Glorious Goodwood
04 Aug 2012 | Top Australian sprinter Ortensia landed her first success in Britain, and became an initial Glorious Goodwood winner for horses from her homeland, in the Group Two Gordon's King George Stakes over 1000m.
Trained by Paul Messara and ridden today by William Buick, Ortensia left Australia to run and win in Dubai in March, then travelled on to Britain nine weeks before Royal Ascot where she was beaten in the Group One King's Stand Stakes. She then finished fourth in the Group One July Cup, but confirmed she is a top-class sprinter today, when, shouldering a 7lb penalty, she scored by one and a quarter lengths and half a length from Spirit Quartz and Masamah.
Ortensia has been trained in Britain from a quarantine yard in Newmarket, and although Messara has been at home for much of that time he entrusted her care to local trainer Toby Coles, who spent just over a year in Australia during which time the two men became friends. Coles said: "I'm proud on Paul's behalf, although I haven't done much towards this win. Paul's watching at home and will have been very pleased.
"The Royal Ascot run was a bit of a quandary, but she ran a cracking race at Newmarket because she had never been on ground that wet in her life - it was more like swimming than galloping. Today she got her own ground and showed what she could do, and she didn't have a good run.
"Things didn't go well in the early stages of the race and then she got a bit of air and came through easily. William wasn't hard on her.
"She saw a bit of downhill racecourse at Newmarket, but otherwise a course like this is an unknown. They don't have anything like it in Oz."
Ortensia has entries in the Nunthorpe Stakes at York and Haydock's Sprint Cup, but Coles said: "I don't know how long she'll stay here, although I'd love her to stay. As long as the rain stays away there's a chance."
Buick said: "If you look through her previous form she was head and shoulders above the rest. I didn't think she had run downhill before and she certainly got a little bit lost on that section of the track - there were plenty of speed horses in the race and my plan was to sit in behind them, but Paul Messara had said to me 'don't get in a panic and don't ask her to do something she doesn't want to do'. He said 'let her take you' and she certainly finished the race well.
"This mare will take some pegging back in the Nunthorpe if they let her take her chance and she's in the form she showed today. She'd be better on a flat track and I think York would suit her, but she might go back to Australia - there's better prize money over there.
"It's a great training performance by Paul and the groom who looks after the mare. They have been brave to come all this way and I'm really glad it's worked out for them."
£100,000, Group 2 Gordon's King George Stakes (1000m) 1st £56,710.00 2nd £21,500.00 3rd £10,760.00 4th £5,360.00 5th £2,690.00 6th £1,350.00
1) ORTENSIA (AUS) (A D Fraser, Ms A Fraser & Miss E Ridley) Paul Messara AUS 7-9-05 William Buick  6/1 Jt Fav
2) SPIRIT QUARTZ (IRE) (Qatar Racing Limited) Robert Cowell 4-9-01 Frankie Dettori  7/1
3) MASAMAH (IRE) (Dr Marwan Koukash) Kevin Ryan 6-9-01 Jamie Spencer  12/1
4) CONFESSIONAL (Terry & Margaret Holdcroft) Tim Easterby be5-9-01 Paul Hanagan 
5) ANGELS WILL FALL (IRE) (Mrs E O'Leary) Charlie Hills 3-8-09 Robert Winston 
6) HUMIDOR (IRE) (M Khan X2) George Baker t5-9-01 Richard Hughes 
7) NOBLE STORM (USA) (R L Bedding) Ed McMahon 6-9-01 Ryan Moore 
8) TANGERINE TREES (Tangerine Trees Partnership) Bryan Smart v7-9-01 Tom Eaves  6/1 Jt Fav
9) STONE OF FOLCA (Folkestone Racecourse Owners Group) John Best h4-9-01 Luke Morris 
10) AMOUR PROPRE (Simon Broke & Partners) Henry Candy 6-9-01 Dane O'Neill 
11) BEYOND DESIRE (Clipper Logistocs) Roger Varian 5-8-12 Neil Callan 
12) EXCELETTE (IRE) (Crossfields Racing) Bryan Smart 3-8-09 Royston Ffrench 
13) PABUSAR (Mr & Mrs Kevan Watts) Ralph Beckett 4-9-01 Jim Crowley 
14) STEPPER POINT (Clive Edginton) William Muir b3-8-12 Martin Dwyer 
15) HAMISH MCGONAGALL (Reality Partnerships I) Tim Easterby 7-9-01 David Allan 
16) SECRET ASSET (IRE) (Simon & Jeanette Pierpoint & Paul Salisbury) Jane Chapple-Hyam h7-9-01 George Baker 
17) ELUSIVITY (IRE) (Poilin Good) Brian Meehan b4-9-01 Eddie Ahern 
Time: 57.24s Distances: 1¼, ½, hd, nk, ½, ½, 1½, hd, nk, ½, nk, sh, nk, 1, 5, hd
Breeder: Mr L D Rhodes Breeding: b m Testa Rossa (AUS) - Aerate's Pick (AUS) (Picnicker (AUS))