Ortensia draws well in Hong Kong Sprint
Australian sprinter Ortensia has drawn favourably for her international debut in Sunday’s Group One Hong Kong Sprint.
The Tony Noonan-trained mare came up with barrier five at Thursday’s draw with champion Singapore sprinter Rocket Man drawn directly on her outside.
Sacred Kingdom, the locally-trained two-time winner of the race, will start from gate two.
Ortensia will be the only Australian-trained representative at the rich meeting.
Stripped of Group One success because of a positive swab after her Galaxy win this year, Ortensia will go into Sunday’s race after a first-up third to Black Caviar in the Patinack Farm Classic at Flemington last month.
In first markets on the race, an Australian corporate bookmaker made Ortensia a $13 chance with Rocket Man ($3.50) and Sacred Kingdom ($3.60) disputing favouritism.
International day at Sha Tin also features the running of the Hong Kong Cup (2000m), Hong Kong Mile (1600m) and the Hong Kong Vase (2400m).
Craig Williams, who has ridden Ortensia throughout most of her career, will be in the saddle.
Williams has two other feature race rides with Glass Harmonium his mount in the Hong Kong Cup and Japanese stayer Jaguar Mail in the Vase.
The Vase features Melbourne Cup winner Americain who has drawn barrier nine in the field of 14.
Americain, to be ridden by Gerald Mosse, will be having his first start since his stirring victory at Flemington.
The French-trained, Australian-owned stayer is the highest rated horse in the race with a 121 international rating.
Americain has already attracted support with Australian punters, firming from $4 to $3.80 soon after the draw was released.
Main opposition for Americain will include Jaguar Mail, Hong Kong hero Viva Pataca and the Aidan O’Brien-trained Joshua Tree.
The Ed Dunlop-trained Snow Fairy is a $4 favourite to claim the Hong Kong Cup while Paco Boy is strongly fancied to bow out of racing on a winning note in the Hong Kong Mile.
Paco Boy is a $3.60 favourite in first markets with Good Ba Ba, chasing his fourth successive win in the race, out to $15.