Paul Messara had another of the great summer festivals in mind when he decided to bring Ortensia over from Australia but the powerful mare still provided victory on an elegant stage in the Gordon’s King George Stakes at Glorious Goodwood yesterday.
Thwarted by the weather in the July Cup at Newmarket and well below par on all known form in the King’s Stand at Royal Ascot, this Group Two was very much Plan C on the New South Wales trainer’s hitlist.
Although initially uncertain on the undulating sprint course, Ortensia (6-1 joint-favourite) finally justified the expense of her trip as she switched on the afterburner in the final furlong and was soon in absolute control as she passed the post a length and a quarter ahead of Spirit Quartz.
A return home will be imminent, as the seven-year-old has been camped in Britain since she won the Al Quoz Sprint in Dubai in March, but Messara tweeted from Australia: “Ortensia will now contest the Nunthorpe at York (August 24). Can’t wait!”
Spirit Quartz and third-placed Masamah will head for the Knavesmire, too.
The Coutts Glorious Stakes went into the custody of Luca Cumani for the seventh time after Quest For Peace (5-1) and Kieren Fallon bossed it from the front.
Cumani has started to use the Group Three as a qualification stage for the Emirates Melbourne Cup and his wife, Sara, said: “It’s extraordinary, I think the race just fits well into the calendar for our horses.
“It’s nice to see him win and he’s definitely on track for Melbourne. It looks like we might have three for the Cup as Mount Athos is going to go there and Ibicenco, too.
The RSA Thoroughbred Stakes was as rough as it was competitive and Trumpet Major (6-1), bouncing back from a woeful showing in the Irish 2,000 Guineas, and Archbishop (10-1) had to share victory after the judge called a dead-heat finish.
Richard Hannon, trainer of Trumpet Major, said: “Half a cake is better than none. He came back with a bad scope after the Irish Guineas, he will probably go to the Foret now.”
Archbishop’s trainer Brian Meehan said: “It looked very close and we’ve won, that’s the main thing. I thought that was a Group Two in all but name.”
Fulbright (7-1) gave Mark Johnston a fifth winner of the valuable Betfred Mile, as well as a fifth winner of the week.
Turned out under a penalty having edged a six-furlong handicap at Newmarket last weekend, the trainer had taken the advice of jockey Silvestre de Sousa and the jockey was correct in his assessment as the pair scored decisively.
* Jamie Spencer and Graham Gibbons were banned for four and five days respectively following incidents during the Betfred Mile.
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