Emotional Win For Forza Orta

Yorkshire folk cannot dream of anything better than an inner at the Ebor festival. York’s premier meeting offers some of the best racing worldwide and everyone aims to get into the winer’s enclosure. Forza Orta already provided the Wainwright family and Highbank Stud a memory that will live on forever when winning at the Knavesmire last year. The 5yo went one better when he stepped up in strip to win the 2m 1/2f Sky Bet Stayers Handicap at York.

Forza Orta progressed well last season but he never quite broke the barrier in to 90’s. Having won in class 3 handicaps, the next step was the heritage handicaps which he had run well in previously. Unfortunately early this season seemed to be following the same trend. Forza Orta had always looked like a stayer in the making so connections decided to take the chance that 2m could unlock the improvement required.

Rowan Scott has struck up a good partnership with Forza Orta and was in the saddle once again. Up against dour stayers, Forza Orta was the one in the field as an unknown regarding the trip. Jumping well he was to the fore, chasing the lead and sitting in around 4th place as they crossed the winning line. He lost a couple of places as a  the field settled down to chase a good gallop.

There was never an issue as the field raced down the back straight, moving past the 1m4f starting point where Forza Orta had won from last season. The test would come in the latter stages and would be the real telling sign of his stamina reserves. It would be a proper test as the leader continued to race keenly in front.

Although the trip is the same at all courses, the long straight at York does seem to take that little bit extra stamina. The leader kicked from a long way out and did catch the field on their heels as the lead quickly extended. As they started to race, Rowan just niggled his mount along down the the outside of the field and Forza Orta began to sweep past rivals. You could see it was himself and the favourite who were travelling best as they loomed up behind the leader.

The race got messy as they entered the final 2f and a domino effect, beginning on the outer, carrying Forza Orta left and hampering himself and the favourite. With the leader continuing to stride out in front, the strong travelling pair were now going to have to dig deep. Rowan tried to suffer his hampering and looked to go for a gap, with his mount full of running. Daylight just wouldn’t appear and Rowan had to change plan, switching around the pair in front of him. The favourite followed tact and both were in the clear.

Entering the final furlong, Forza Orta had a clear run and was finding more. He was finding gears and really hitting his stride. Likewise the favourite was too and it was these two who would sweep past the long time leader. It was neck and neck between the pair and any stamina doubts were well and truly quelled by Forza Orta. Having been full of running, Forza Orta would have been an unlucky loser but now that didn’t matter as he could really knuckle down for the final 1/2f. It was between the leading two and they went hammer and tong. Forza Orta continually held his foe and crossed the line to secure a neck victory.

It was a dream to breed and own a winner at York for Highbank Stud’s founder Martin Wainwright. Unfortunately he never got to witness it but would certainly have been looking down. However poignant and emotional that win was, this topped it and the cheers could be heard around the Knavesmire. Forza Orta looks like he thrived over the extra distance and could well be a cup horse for next year.


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