HONG Kong International Sprint challenger Ortensia will become the 12th successive Australia-bred horse to win the Sha Tin feature if successful this weekend but history is still against her.

From the time since Fairy King Prawn took out the inaugural running of the Sprint back in 1999, no mare has been able to reign supreme but Ortensia is capable of reversing the trend this year.

“Her first up run behind Black Caviar was good and there are a number of things in her favour,” Vinery Stud’s Conor Phelan says, ‘first of all the race is sure to be run at a suitable tempo for her. She will likely be off the speed, so it is imperative that they move along and that is assured. Secondly the layout of Sha Tin is ideal. The long run up the straight to the finish is advantageous and there is rarely a bias at the track. The middle ground will be as good as any other section.

“Fortunately that little mishap last week when she took fright at the stray cat and got loose doesn’t seem to have interrupted her preparation.

We know from that fact that she has won stakes races in four states here in Australia that she is a good traveler and very adaptable. I can’t name too many horses that are as good going clock-wise and counter clockwise as she has been.”

Phelan also reckoned that trainer Tony Noonan’s own experience as a “visiting trainer” will stand the daughter of Testa Rossa in good stead.
“We know what a good trainer Tony Noonan is and his horses invariably lose nothing when they leave home. Reports are good for the mare and while this is a tough race, she is a genuine chance of beating the likes of One World, Rocket Man and Sacred Kingdom on Sunday.”

Win, lose or draw, Ortensia’s deeds past and present are sure to provide a compelling argument for Testa Rossa’s 2011 yearling sales progeny.
Testa Rossa is represented at next month’s Magic Millions Yearling Sale by 18 lots.
The stallion has 5 at Karaka, the same number at Easter and the prolific stallion is as popular as ever with 15 at the Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale.