THREE Stakes winner’s last week and now globetrotting Testa Rossa mare Ortensia kicks off her autumn campaign in the Group 1 MRC Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield this weekend.
The daughter of Testa Rossa hasn’t raced since her successful international campaign which saw her win Group 1 races in both Dubai (Al Quoz Sprint Gr.1) and the UK (Nunthorpe S Gr.1).
Trainer Paul Messara intends to target the Group 1 ATC T.J Smith Stakes (1200m) with Ortensia, a race which will more than likely see her lock horns with Black Caviar in preference to a return to Dubai to defend her Al Quoz Sprint crown.
“The TJ Smith Stakes is a race that looks ideal for her and it still gives us an option to head to Singapore for the KrisFlyer International Sprint if we want to still go overseas,” he says.
“I would have liked to run in the Lightning Stakes, I think she could have run a good second to Black Caviar but she was just a gallop short and we ran out of time.
“This is our next best option and it is going to be a very competitive race.”
Ortensia’s return to the track comes at a time when Testa Rossa’s stocks are soaring with three new stakeswinners recorded in the space of a week beginning with the Peter Moody trained There’s Only One who took out the Group 3 MRC Bellmaine Stakes (1200m) first-up at the Heath on Feb 9.
Her win came prior the stallion’s dual Mornington triumph with wins to Sydney 2YO, Twilight Royale in the Inglis Premier and Jolie Blonde’s effort in the Hareeba Stakes (1200m).
Testa Rossa will have the chance to bag his 46th stakeswinner when ace two-year-old The Bowler takes his place in the Group 1 MRC Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
The Tony Vasil trained youngster made a positive impression on debut when 0.3-lens second to Blue Diamond rival Kuroshio in the Group 3 MRC Blue Diamond Prelude (1100m) on February 9.
Testa Rossa’s rampant success in 2013 has been reflected in the sale ring after one of his colt’s ensured that this week’s Perth Magic Millions Yearling Sale got off to a flyer selling for third-top price (overall) of $190,000.
This trend is expected to continue at the upcoming Inglis Melbourne Yearling Sale where Testa Rossa with be represented by 10 yearlings, five are Super Vobis.