08/24/2012 2:34PM

England: Ortensia flies late to capture the Nunthorpe Stakes at York


Ortensia, the 7-year-old Australian mare, won the Group 1 Nunthorpe Stakes for sprinters at York on Friday, her second consecutive group stakes win in England.

It may not be long before she tries for a third. Trainer Paul Messara mentioned the Group 1 Sprint Cup at Haydock on Sept. 8 as her next goal.

Ridden in the five-furlong Nunthorpe by William Buick, Ortensia, the 7-2 joint favorite, closed from 17th in a field of 19 to win by a neck over Spirit Quartz, a 14-1 shot ridden by Frankie Dettori. Hamish McGonagall, a 14-1 shot who set the pace, finished third.

Ortensia was ninth and fourth in Group 1 races in England in June and July before her win in the Group 2 King George Stakes at Goodwood on Aug. 3. The victory in the Nunthorpe, a Win and You're In race for the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint, is Ortensia’s biggest win in Europe.

By Testa Rossa, Ortensia has won Group 1 races on three continents. She has won eight stakes in her native Australia, including a Group 1 there last November. Earlier this year, she won the Group 1 Al Quoz Sprint in Dubai on the undercard of the Dubai World Cup.

◗ Top Trip, the winner of the Group 2 Prix Hocquart in May but later fifth in the Group 1 French Derby and Group 1 Grand Prix de Paris, starts in Sunday’s Group 2 Grand Prix de Deauville over about 1 9/16 miles at the seaside racecourse.

Trained by Francois Doumen, Top Trip will be ridden by Thomas Huet.

Godolphin Racing has formidable runners in Master Stroke, a winner of 3 of 5 starts, and Tennebaum, the winner of 3 of 4 starts. Tennebaum is making his group stakes debut.

◗ There are only five entrants in Sunday’s Group 2 Futurity Stakes over seven furlongs at the Curragh.

Trainer Aidan O’Brien has three maiden race winners, the Galileo colts Flying the Flag and Kingston Jamaica and the Dansili colt Nevis.

They face First Cornerstone, the 33-1 upset winner of the Canford Cliffs Stakes at Tipperary on Aug. 10, and Birdman, second in the Group 2 Superlative Stakes at Newmarket last month.