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Weather watch for July Cup
16:57 AEST Wed Jul 11 2012

Britain's wet weather will play an important role in Australian mare Ortensia's challenge in the July Cup at Newmarket.

While trainer Paul Messara is committed to running Ortensia, the same is not so for connections of some of her major rivals.

Messara said the Newmarket track was slow on Wednesday with more rain forecast up till Saturday.

"It's mid-range slow by Australian standards," Messara told Sydney's SKy Sports Radio.

"If the weather forecast is right, with two days racing prior to our race it could end up more like a heavy.

"She gets through it but she doesn't thrive.

"But quite a few of the fancied runners don't like it so the field could drop away a bit.

"(Favourite) Bated Breath doesn't want it wet at all."

Ortensia will be ridden by the in-form William Buick who will be instructed to get Ortensia into a comfortable rhythm to give the mare her best chance on the undulating 1200m course.

"I think the most important thing is balance and getting into a rhythm early," Messara said.

"I think we would be willing to sacrifice a position to get her balanced because that is the most important thing.

"Where we draw and how many starters there are will play a major role.

"The first 600 (metres) will be about about balance and getting her into a rhythm."

Ortensia was het up before the King's Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot and ran accordingly, straining muscles in the process.

"She has made a full recovery. She strained some muscles but she is now moving very freely," Messara said.

"We are trying everything to keep her as settled as possible before the race.

"Her work's been very good.

"She has had two goes on the July course and attacked the downhill part of the straight really well."

The Messara-trained Alverta finished third in the prestigious sprint two years ago behind Starspangledbanner and Equiano.


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