TRAINER Tony Noonan is looking forward next month’s prestigious Group One Hong Kong International Sprint with crack mare Ortensia who was sharp in an exhibition gallop between races at Sandown on Wednesday.
“It was a good strong hit-out that will tighten her-up, and now the plane trip, she’ll go their a fit mare.
“All going well she’ll fly out on Tuesday afternoon and probably have a look at the track on Sunday with a bit of work and then will have her final hit-out on either the Wednesday or Thursday leading into the race.”
The Sprint is shaping up as one of the strongest on record with a heavy contingent of Australian-bred seeking to keep their unbeaten record off 11 straight wins intact.
Among Ortensia’s rivals for the Sha Tin feature are Rocket Man, One World and the mercurial Sacred Kingdom who is striving for an unprecedented third win in the Sprint.
Noonan is confident that Ortnesia will acquit herself well.
“Any Group One is a hard race and she is up against seasoned horses that have been going around in that area for years,” he said.
“I think she’s had the perfect prep, she’ll go there a fit mare and at her top, I think she’ll be very competitive.
Noonan was asked, can she beat them?
“I wouldn’t be going to run second,” he replied.
“I’ve always felt this sort of high speed race off a bend suits her best and I think she can win.”