Horse Betting: Ortensia in July Cup
Ortensia will need to put the issues that caused her downfall at Ascot behind her if she is to make the frame in what will be a stiff test for her on the uphill undulating straight July course
Timeform Australian Handicapper Gary Crispe runs the ruler over Ortensia ahead of Saturday's July Cup at Newmarket.
Weight adjusted Timeform ratings point to a better run from Ortensia in Saturday's G1 July Cup over 1200m at Newmarket, the mare currently sitting as fifth highest rated and within seven pounds of the top selection Strong Suit ahead of final declarations.
There were plenty of excuses for Ortensia last time out in the G1 King's Stand stakes at Royal Ascot when nothing went right for the Paul Messara-trained mare, experiencing pre race nerves and subsequently pulling up with an injury.
Finishing over six lengths behind the winner Little Bridge, the run was several pounds below her rating recorded in an impressive near last to first win in the G1 Al Quoz sprint over 1000m at Meydan on World Cup night at her start prior.
Potentially facing a stronger line up than in the G1 King's Stand Stakes at the Royal Meeting at Ascot Ortensia will need to put the issues that caused her downfall at Ascot behind her if she is to make the frame in what will be a stiff test for her on the uphill undulating straight July course.
Australian do not have a good record in the July Cup. Choisir, Exceed And Excel, Takeover Target, Falkirk, Bentley Biscuit, Scenic Blast, Nicconi, Star Witness and Alverta all failing to land the major prize although Choisir and Alverta came close both getting into the placings behind Oasis Dream and Starspangledbanner respectively.
There is some historical significance for Ortensia as Paul Messara also prepared Alverta so he knows what is required to be successful on the July course. Also both mares were similarly Timeform rated at around 120 going into the July Cup.
It is interesting to note that of the three European sprinters rated above Ortensia, none are group one winners, whereas Ortensia is a two time winner at the highest level.
Former Australian trained sprinter Sepoy is the other horse rated above Ortensia and is second top rated behind Strong Suit, two pounds in arrears. He is a four time group one winner in Australia when prepared by Peter Snowden but failed on the tapeta surface in Meydan on World Cup night when contesting the Golden Shaheen Sprint.
Sepoy will be having his final race start before heading back to Australia to commence stud duties but looks much better suited back onto turf.
Like Ortensia, Sepoy does not appreciate very wet ground and that is a major concern for both gallopers.