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Ortensia upheld the reputation of Australian sprinters at the Dubai World Cup meeting and will now try for further international success at Royal Ascot.

The mare sustained a last-to-first finishing sprint in the Group One Al Quoz at Meydan in the early hours of Sunday morning (AEST) down the straight 1000 metre course.

The fact she is racing at all is down to a decision by owner Alistair Fraser to defer sending her to stud and put her in training with his close Hunter Valley neighbour Paul Messara.

Ortensia was previously with Victoria’s Tony Noonan and it was thought she had run her last race when unplaced in the Goodwood in Adelaide in May.

Her record with Messara is three starts for three wins, two at Group One level.

Craig Williams has had a long association with the mare and won the Winterbottom Stakes on her in Perth but only got the call to the Dubai meeting when Hong Kong based Darren Beadman was unable to ride due to injuries suffered in a fall in February.

“She has hit a purple patch late in her career and I’m pretty happy that I can partner up with her and travel around and have a crack at these races,” Messara told Sydney’s Sky Sports Radio from Dubai.

“We thought she would be closer in the run but the pace was stronger than expected.

“She had to get to the outside. That’s what she needs to do

“It’s an unbelievable privilege to have a horse to run here let alone win.”

Messara said the King’s Stand (1000m) was now firmly in their sights.

“It looks like an ideal race,” he said.

“Either way she has to come home via England and they are keen to have us and we are keen to go.”

Messara said the experience of taking Alverta to England two years ago had given him an invaluable insight into racing there.

Alverta was unplaced in the Golden Jubilee before proving her ability with third in the tough July Cup.

“It was a great dry run with Alverta,” Messara said.

“I learned a lot and that will make it a lot easier.

“Just things like knowing which vets, farriers and feed merchants to go to.

“For the management of the horse it’s a huge benefit.”

Foxwedge will also run in the King’s Stand while champion mare Black Caviar is scheduled to contest the Diamond Jubilee Stakes (1200m).

Australia’s other representatives in Dubai, Helmet and Sepoy, could not live up to their Australian form in the UAE Derby and Golden Shaheen respectively and will now join Sheikh Mohammed’s European Godolphin team.

 
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