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Ortensia comes from nowhere to land the Coolmore Nunthrope Stakes

24 Aug 2012

First it was Black Caviar at Royal Ascot and today it was Ortensia at York as Australian sprinters tasted more QIPCO British Champions Series glory, with the mare coming from a seemingly hopeless position to win the Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes.

Ortensia, ridden by William Buick, just gets there in time to beat Spirit Quartz, the mount of Frankie Dettori, in the Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes at York this afternoon. Image courtesy of

With two furlongs to run, few would have given Australian sprinter Ortensia a prayer in the five-furlong Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes at York this afternoon.

She was a long way back and being hard ridden by jockey William Buick, but she accelarated in devastating style on the far rail to master Spirit Quartz close home and win by a neck with just over a length back to the long time leader, Hamish McGonagall.

Bated Breath and Sole Power were sixth and seventh, never able to land a blow. The rain softened ground was definitely against them.

For Ortsenia it was almost the exact reverse of the other Australian sprinter who came to our shores this year.

The unbeaten superstar Black Caviar was always prominent in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot in June, before hanging on by a head at the finish, whereas Ortensia came from nowhere to get up close home.

The Aussies have now won two of the five Series sprints run so far and they could win a third if Ortensia heads to Haydock Park two weeks tomorrow for the Betfred Sprint Cup over a furlong further.

Jubiliant trainer, Paul Messara, said: "It’s fabulous. It’s the most amazing feeling. To win a big one over here is a huge thrill.

"I couldn’t believe it yesterday when it poured down. I thought we were coming here with no chance.

"I walked the track this morning and again thought we didn’t have a chance. I just thought it was too soft for her to show her acceleration.

"Anyway, we’re here and she’s done it, just."

Buick said: "It’s fantastic, I don’t know how she won, to be honest.

"They went very fast and I was a long way back, but I could hold a straight course the whole way and she’s so much better when she doesn’t have to be switched in or out.

"You could see the way she finished the race she’s got so much speed and I think if she steps back up to six (furlongs) again, she’ll be very hard to beat.

"I don’t think I’ve been quicker in a race before and they just got her off the bridle, but when she gets to the furlong and a half marker she hits that sixth gear and picks up well.

"The ground is a little bit loose, so that probably didn’t help her early on – we were kind of wheelspinning a bit.

"She showed at Goodwood what she can do to these sprinters and she showed today she’s superior to the sprinters over here."