Ortensia wins for Australia in Al Quoz Sprint

Australian turf sprinter burst from near the tail of the field to win the Group 1 US$1 million Al Quoz Sprint Discuss this article

Ortensia struck another blow for the prowess of Australian turf sprinters as the mare burst from near the tail of the field to win the Group 1 US$1 million Al Quoz Sprint, sponsored by Emirates NBD.

Trained by Paul Messara and coolly ridden by Craig Williams, Ortensia looked to have plenty to do halfway during the 1,000m dash down the Meydan straight before unleashing a matchless finishing kick in the final furlong to score by a length and quarter from Irish sprinter Sole Power with Joy And Fun and neck back in third.

The winning time of 57.98 seconds was three-tenths of a second outside the track record.

Ortensia has maintained a perfect three for three record since joining Messara last year and the young trainer was overjoyed saying: “I had my heart in my mouth. I can’t believe she has won it. I jumped so high when she hit the line I lost my phone! At the 400m I was sweating bullets because I thought she would be a lot closer but Craig knew what he was doing. He knows her so well. She goes to England in seven days and she is going to run in the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot over the same distance.”

Williams returned to scale with the Australian flag draped over his shoulders and was celebrating the first Aussie winner on World Cup night since Elvstroem in the 2005 Dubai Duty Free.

“I have had 20 rides on the mare for four wins – she has been unlucky in a few but she was brilliant today,” the winning rider said.

“We knew what her weaknesses were going but we also knew her strengths and the race panned out perfectly. I was able to get into clear running inside the last 300m and she had an explosive turn of foot.”

Time Out Dubai,

Add your review/feedback

Subscribe to Daily Dubai newsletter

Prove you're not a robot:


The Knowledge

Hundreds of flights diverted to Dubai World Central
Apr 20

Check before you fly as hundreds of flights diverted during 80 days of upgrades

5 things to do today in Dubai
Apr 20

Try English at The Ivy or do yoga at The Beach

5 things to do tomorrow in Dubai
Apr 20

Get a free massage or buy sustainable fashion


Sign up now
latest issue TIME OUT KIDSOut now!
latest issue EATING OUT GUIDEOut now!

Time Out
Abu Dhabi

Ten things to do this weekend
Your essential Abu Dhabi to-do list

Time Out

Bahrain Grand Prix pictures
Our photographer was trackside throughout the big weekend

Time Out

Best restaurants in Doha
Our pick of the best places to eat in Qatar