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Plans for Group One Winterbottom Stakes winner Ortensia will be finalised later this week but a trip overseas remains a serious option.

Trainer Paul Messara plans to meet with the mare’s owners in the next couple of days to decide whether to head to New Zealand for the Group One Railway Stakes (1200m) on New Year’s Day.

“New Zealand is still on the agenda,” Messara said.

“Whether we go there or tip her out, or we might have a crack overseas somewhere, not just New Zealand but maybe kick on to Dubai.

“There are a few options to discuss.”

Ortensia landed a deserved Group One win in the Winterbottom in Perth last start after being disqualified from her first placing in the 2010 Galaxy at Randwick due to a positive swab.

Messara, who only took over her training from Tony Noonan earlier this year, has now produced Ortensia for two wins from as many starts.
The elite victory at Ascot was especially gratifying.

“It was great, fabulous. And it was great for her value as a broodmare, especially after she had the other one (Galaxy win) taken away,” Messara said.

Messara will chase further black-type success at Rosehill on Saturday when Chateau Fort lines up in the Listed Festival Stakes (1500m).

The four-year-old lost all chance first-up at Flemington when he bungled the start then disappointed Messara last time out when eleventh to stablemate Trauma.

“He disappointed us with his last run. We couldn’t put a finger on anything that went wrong so we’ve pressed on to Saturday,” Messara said.

Chateau Fort, who won the Group Three Gunsynd Classic (1600m) during the Brisbane winter carnival, needs to perform in the Festival to earn a shot at next month’s Villiers Stakes (1600m).

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