x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Ortensia to make a final go of it

The Nunthorpe Stakes at York in August may be the filly's final chance to impress as trainer Paul Messara says "I'd say at this stage it will be her last race'.

Ortensia's poor showing in the July Cup has her trainer, Paul Messara, thinking that Nunthorpe Stakes at York may be her last race.
Ortensia's poor showing in the July Cup has her trainer, Paul Messara, thinking that Nunthorpe Stakes at York may be her last race.

Ortensia will have the final race of her career in the Group 1 Nunthorpe Stakes at York in England next month.

The seven-year-old mare was fourth in Saturday's Group 1 July Cup behind Mayson, who could also head to the five-furlong event on August 24.

Ortensia had previously failed to build on her stunning success in the Al Quoz sprintin Dubai when getting too agitated in the preliminaries at Royal Ascot in June.

"I'd say at this stage it will be her last race," said Paul Messara, her trainer.

"She's in the twilight of her career, and we'll have a chat after the Nunthorpe and see what happens."

William Buick took the ride on Ortensia at Newmarket but Craig Williams, the Australian jockey, has been her regular partner and was on board in Dubai when she won at Meydan Racecourse.

It is not yet known whether Williams will be on board next month.

"William did a lovely job with her and kept her very relaxed," Messara said.

Ortensia could also clash at York with Dubai regulars Dandy Boy and Nocturnal Affair.

Dandy Boy was among several who hated the going at Newmarket on Saturday and the £30,000 9 (Dh171,600) that owner Malih Lahej Al Basti put up to supplement Dandy Boy into the six-furlong event was washed away with the incessant rain.

Dandy Boy, who finished ninth of the 12 runners, will be rested until the York race while Nocturnal Affair will contest a prep race in Ireland on August 10.

Mayson is likely to be handed the opportunity to confirm his first victory at the highest level was no fluke in the Nunthorpe, although the last time he graced the Knavesmire in May he finished last of 13 in the Duke of York Stakes.

"He got very upset at York two runs ago," said Richard Fahey, his trainer.

"He got a hind leg stuck in the stalls for about 20 seconds and he came home not just right. I couldn't say he was lame but he was stiff.

"He is in the Nunthorpe, and I am a little bit worried about going back there after what happened on his last visit, but we will get him home and then see."

Over in America there was no luck for Treasure Beach, who finished fifth to Point Of Entry in the Grade 1 Man O' War Stakes at Belmont Park on Saturday night.

Aidan O'Brien's four year old, who is part-owned by Fitri Hay, has yet to enter the winners' enclosure now in five starts since winning the Grade 1 Secretariat Stakes at Arlington Park in August.

Point Of Entry will now be aimed at the Grade 1 Sword Dancer Invitational at Saratoga on August 18, which is the same day as the lucrative Arlington Million meeting.

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