Ortensia returns to Randwick on Saturday for the Galaxy and this time trainer Tony Noonan is determined to take the Group One sprint trophy home to Melbourne.
He and owner Alistair Fraser had their hands on it briefly a year ago but the mare was stripped of her win due to a positive swab to ractopamine, a substance used in pigs to increase muscle fibre.
The source of the banned substance was not determined and Noonan was not penalised but the mare lost her status as a Group One winner with the race awarded to Shellscrape.
Noonan said Ortensia was in fine shape heading into the Group One 1100m sprint, her first start since her sixth in the Futurity Stakes on February 26 won by More Joyous.
“She jarred up after her last run and it took a little time for her to recover,” Noonan said.
“She is already in Sydney and has been working well going towards the Galaxy.”
Ortensia was out of the placings in a three-start Brisbane campaign last winter and following a spell she returned to run third to Black Caviar in the Patinack Farm Classic at Flemington.
She then distinguished herself with a fifth, beaten just 1-3/4 lengths in the Hong Kong International Sprint at Sha Tin in December, an effort that made her trainer proud.
“To finish as close as she did to J J The Jetplane and Rocket Man was a super effort especially as they both went on to win in Dubai,” Noonan said.
Ortensia has been nominated for next month’s KrisFlyer Stakes in Singapore with Brisbane again an option.
But if Black Caviar turns up as scheduled in the BTC Cup, Ortensia won’t be there.
“We’ve had one go at her and we’ll be dodging her from now on,” Noonan said.
There were 20 entries for the Galaxy including Shellscrape, Oakleigh Plate winner Eagle Falls and Keen Commander who finished second three years ago.