TESTA Rossa mare Ortensia has been posted early favourite by Aussie punters to take out the Group 2 Al Quoz Sprint (1000m) in Dubai over the weekend.

The Paul Messara trained galloper is quoted at $8 on TAB Sportsbet to win the US$1m feature run on the turf at the UAE’s showpiece racecourse at Meydan.

Ortensia has won both of her two starts since joining the Messara camp culminating in her comfortable Group 1 WATC Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) defence on November 19.

The six-year-old mare is in Dubai on her way to the UK to contest the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot in June.

Australian jockey Craig Williams flew into Dubai this week, “Not all horses travel well, but chatting to Paul Messara (trainer) & the horse’s owners, they believe she has thrived. I couldn’t be happier looking at her and listening to them. She’s worked well twice & Paul & her owner Alister Fraser are really pleased.” Williams told the Herald Sun.

William’s is of the opinion that barrier 10 suited Ortensia’s style of racing & the straight would also suit her, noting: “It’s a winnable race & the winkers will also go on for Saturday night.”

If Ortensia is to win the Al Quoz in the early hours of Sunday morning AEST, she will have to overcome a pair of high class More Than Ready’s in Better Be The One (now based in Singapore) and the reigning Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint winner, Regally Ready, a Grade 1 winner in Canada last preparation.