Sunday, 17 June 2012
: Australian mare Ortensia has drawn barrier five in a field of 23 for Tuesday's G1 King's Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Photo by Racing and Sports
The low draw, the same gate drawn by 2008 winner Equiano, puts Ortensia
close to the grandstand rail in what is the second biggest field for the King's Stand since 2002.
The only bigger field to contest the five furlong sprint in the last decade was in 2006 when Takeover Target beat 27 rivals.
The majority of winners in the last 10 years have favoured the grandstand side of the straight course with 12 of the last 18 winners starting from gates 1 to 8 including three from gate 5.
However Messara admitted he had been hoping for a middle gate to give Ortensia's jockey Craig Williams more options.
"A middle barrier will give Craig some options,' Messara said before the draw.
"The field could go either side of the course, they might split or come straight up the middle.
"This mare needs plenty of galloping room and I wouldn't like to see her drawn near the rails and having to duck and weave her way through a field.'
Williams, currently based in Japan, will arrive at Ascot in top form after a winning double including a G3 event at Hanshin on Sunday.Bated Breath
, one of Ortensia's major rivals, is not a certain starter if the ground is soft on Tuesday.
Messara is also concerned about a wet track and is hoping predictions of clearing weather are correct.
Bated Breath still holds an entry in Saturday's Diamond Jubilee and may be reserved for a clash with Black Caviar.Sole Power
, who finished second to Ortensia in the Al Quoz Sprint in Dubai in March, is also among the declarations despite Eddie Lynam suggesting last week he was an unlikely runner.
Other overseas runners include Robert Collet's Wizz Kid
from France and the Hong Kong pair Joy And Fun
and Little Bridge
hasn't stifled the G1 Queen Anne Stakes on Tuesday as much as expected with the unbeaten champion to face nine rivals including former Australian Group One winner Helmet
Caulfield Guineas winner Helmet will be having his first start for Godolphin trainer Mahmood Al Zarooni.
Sir Henry Cecil's colt will be going for his 11th win after he recovered from an early season setback to open his campaign with a facile win in the G1 Lockinge Stakes at Newbury.
Frankel's other rivals include stablemate Bullet Train
, Aidan O'Brien's pair Excelebration
and Windsor Palace
, Richard Hannon's tough Group winner Strong Suit
and Diomed Stakes winner Side Glance
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