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Ortensia ready to strike best in July Cup
16:57 AEST Wed Jul 11 2012

Paul Messara expects Ortensia to belatedly showcase her Group One-winning talent to Europe in the July Cup at Newmarket.

Ortensia ran her worst race in four starts for Messara with a lacklustre King's Stand Stakes performance but the young trainer says it wasn't hard to make excuses for the sprinter.

"Prior to the King's Stand she didn't seem to handle the environment. She got upset in the pre-parade ring and broke out into quite a big sweat," he said.

"By the time of the race she was very revved up and agitated and had run her race before she had even got there.

"She ran an average race and pulled up with a sore back but everything's settled down now.

"She's done a good bit of work here and we're hoping she will be a much (better) settled horse on the day.

"Her last piece of work was excellent on the course proper here and she will have another gallop tomorrow. We are very pleased with her going into the race."

Messara is no stranger to a sudden reversal of fortunes on English soil.

He campaigned Alverta in Europe in 2010 when the mare flopped in the Golden Jubilee Stakes only for her to come within a length of July Cup success with her third placing to Starspangledbanner.

Meanwhile, Dandy Boy will try to bridge the gap between handicap company and Group One class after being supplemented for the July Cup.

Trained by David Marnane, Dandy Boy was last seen winning the Wokingham at Royal Ascot.

"He pleased us going into Ascot and has pleased us as much, if not more, since coming out of Ascot," Marnane told At The Races.

"We sat down and had a good chat, he won well at Ascot and we decided to take our chance."

Also supplemented was the Richard Hannon-trained Strong Suit, who will be having his first start at six furlongs since finishing second to Dream Ahead in the Middle Park Stakes as a two-year-old.

A total of 21 horses remain at the confirmation stage, but Aidan O'Brien has taken out crack miler Excelebration.

However, the Ballydoyle handler can still call on Irish 2,000 Guineas winner Power, as well as After and Reply.

Ante-post favourite Bated Breath, second in the King's Stand behind Little Bridge, stands his ground for Roger Charlton, with James Fanshawe's Society Rock being left in after his unlucky fifth to Black Caviar in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at the Royal meeting.


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