that a wet track would scuttle the chances of star Aussie mare Ortensia in the
Group I Nunthorpe Stakes at York overnight proved unfounded, as the daughter of
Testa Rossa produced her trademark late burst to snatch a narrow victory.
Again partnered by William Buick, the Paul Messara trained mare charged home from the back of the field to beat Spirit Quartz by a neck, with 17 other runners following in behind him.
They clocked a brisk 57.62 for the five furlongs.
"She's unbelievable, I can't remember riding a horse that can go through so many gears over five furlongs. She's an amazing mare and the best five-furlong horse I've ridden," said winning rider William Buick.
Racing Post offered the following assessment : This was the biggest ever field for the Nunthorpe Stakes, which was first run in its modern form in 1922. It was an open renewal, well up to the race´s recent level, but it contained just three previous winners in the highest grade. July Cup winner Mayson was not declared, and the 2-y-o Ceiling Kitty was one of several to miss the cut as a maximum field lined up, minus former winner Kingsgate Native whose blood was wrong.
This was a remarkable display by ORTENSIA, who thundered home from a long way off the pace to snatch the race close home. Australia´s first Nunthorpe winner - she has been based in Newmarket since April - she had disappointed in the King´s Stand and couldn´t cope with the bad ground in the July Cup, but she showed her true mettle in the King George Stakes and confirmed her superiority over no fewer than eight of her rivals from Goodwood, with whom she was 7lb better off.
A $50,000 Inglis Premier purchase from the Riverside Stud draft for bloodstock agent Steve Brem, Ortensia (pictured Taron Clark) has the impressive record of 13 wins and seven placings from 34 starts with prizemoney in excess of $2.4 million.
The best performer to date sired by Vinery Stud's Testa Rossa, Ortensia is from Aerate's Pick, who comes from the family of Group I stars Bint Marscay, Bollinger, Filante, etc.
Aerate's Pick has a yearling colt by Encosta de Lago, but won't foal this spring after missing in 2011.
The current two year-old from Aerate's Pick is a full brother to Ortensia that was sold at Magic Millions earlier this year for $130,000 and is set to be re-offered by Baramul Stud at the Magic Millions Horses in Training Sale on October 31 as Lot 8.