UPDATED 13/12/10: ORTENSIA IN HONG KONG: JAKE NOONAN'S BLOG
Dec 06, 2010
Follow all of the action of Ortensia in Hong Kong right here with regular updates from Jake Noonan:
First day of our journey towards the race. Unfortunately it didn’t pan out the way we wanted as our first trackwork session was interrupted by a cat running across our path. This put Ortensia and me out of business for 30 minutes. We had to look after her and tend to the scratches this incident left her with. We headed back out onto the track and she seemed to free up nicely and had felt great in her action as we cantered once round the all weather track at Sha Tin racecourse. After work Lisa and I made sure we iced and bandaged all four legs to ensure there would be no infection and swelling. It was a long day in the end as we didn’t leave the stable until 12 o’clock, but was made worth while to know she would be okay. That afternoon we checked up on her and she seemed to have pulled through fine from the earlier accident. So again we iced and bandaged her legs to make sure all was safe.
After a interesting start to our Hong Kong preparation we had started to get the ball rolling a bit smoother. Ortenisa had pulled up super with no swelling or pain in any legs and so we were able to again work her around the track following the 2010 melbourne cup winner Americain who worked well and she felt terrific in her action. After her workout we made sure all was right by her and her legs by again icing and bandaging her up. She seemed really bright in her attitude and behavior and gave Lisa and I the indication that she had now started to settle in well.
Ortensia worked well this morning. She just trotted and cantered but is now starting to relax and familiarise with the track and sky scraping buildings around her at work. She is so bright in her self at the moment and seems to me that she is happy and healthy as we progress towards her race in just over a weeks time.
Ortensia worked on the Sha Tin turf track this morning. After feeling so well over the last few days the work of 800m evens had her thriving. She felt terrific in herself and action and had a very small blow afterwards with a very quick recovery. She did have a good look around at the stand and objects around her giving the impression she will gain confidence and benefit from the overall experience. She felt great in herself.
Ortensia had a light morning after her gallop yesterday. We brought her out of her box, gave her a good walk and a quiet trot in the ring to stretch out her muscles. She again felt good in her action and gave the impression she had pulled through yesterday work beautifully. All is looking good at this stage in preparation towards her race on Sunday.
Yesterday Lisa, Dad and I took a train trip into China to experience and spend some of our money within the cheap and massive shopping malls. Dad gave me a good lesson into bargaining with the locals as we made sure we got the best price for ourselves when we purchased some smart pants for the races. Unfortunately Lisa got carried away with all the shops and well known brands that she missed out on Dad’s valuable lesson on bargaining, which ended up with Lisa spending a little more Chinese money then needed. They say you learn from your mistakes!!! After such great bargains for Dad and I we shot off to check up on the mare. Lisa's eyes were glued to every handbag she passed so we left her there and then Dad and I were left to shout Lisa for the remainder of the day!! After arriving at the stable in the afternoon the club physio came to inspect Ortensia and gave us a glowing report. All that ice, laser and massage therapy has paid off. We couldn’t be happier with the way she looked and felt. Her coat looks terrific and after using the laser on her hind quarters and joints we put her away in her box and let her be with a nice feed.
Ortensia had a light workout on the all weather track today. After having a trot in the ring amongst the world’s best quality of thoroughbreds she seemed to free up nicely in her action. It gave me a great sensation being given the opportunity to work our mare with such horses as Americain and Rocket Man at a racetrack well known and respected all over the world. I was instructed to give her a nice canter for 1 lap by the boss and she seemed to enjoy her work as well. She has settled in perfectly at this stage and has seemed to overcome anything spooking her within her work and stables.
Ortensia ahd a her last piece of work this morning on the sha tin turf. She gallopped ova the 1200m and increased from the 800m and quickened up her last 600m. she felt great in her action. Her final 200m metres was the best part of her work as she stretched out nicely and hit the line well. she did seem to loose some concentration on enetering the straight as the grandtsand and papparazzi had caused her to start gaze. but in favour that helped us give her a nice work without over working her. She seemed to pull up fine from that work. Hardly blew and felt fine in her legs.
That afternoon we decided that we would re shoe her as her shoes were startin to wear. After the farrier had doner an excellent job shoeing her we inced her feet for quiet while to release any heat from being re shod. She also recived the laser treratment and after all was done we put her away knowing she was safe and healthy. That night we along with all the other international grooms and trainers were fortunate enough to go to the interantion jockey metting at happy valley. It was a great night of racing and we had the best view as we sat at the far end of the grandstand where we enjoyed and buffet dinner and desert. not so much for myself. It was great to see so many different styles of riding from all over the world and take interest in the way they race over here. What made it even better was seeing our local jockey Nash Rawiller take our one of the featured races. All in all we had a great and long night, so we headed off to bed to ensure we were fit and awake for work tomorrow.
The mare was back on the track for a small work out this morning. She had recovered well from her gallop and with a days reast she headed out on the all weather track for a trot and canter. She felt terrific in herself and action and was very bright in the eye. With only doing the one lap, we then had the option to take ortensia down to the parade ring to familiarise herself wiht the surroundings so she doesnt get to stirred up on race day. She coped with this experience fine as Lisa and Tom Noonan walked her round the ring until she was fully settled. It is a complex like nothing in comparison in Australia. Their mountaing yard would be very similiar to a auction yard at yearling sales as it has hundreds of seats surrounding the yard for spectators and mainly punters to view and in some circumstances give their opinion to the horsemen on the other side of the fence so im told. The grandstand was simliar in size to Flemington, but higher giving the opinion that the community and people of hong kong heavily support and enjoy going racing. After that experience we took the mare back to her stable and gave her a hose and ice and put her away to rest. She seemed fit and healthy, and most importantly, happy.
After work Tom and I headed back in to the city of Honk Kong to try on our suits for furthur adjustment. The progress had started to come along perfectly it we were very excited about having them finished and wearing them racing one day. On our way home we took a ferry across the water to the other side of the city. This was great view of the whole city and gave a real insighht into really how big the skyscrapers and city was.
We arrived back in time for arfternoon work. Todays work though was much quieter. Because of the Honk Kong rules and regulations we were unable to use the laser treatment. So we made the most of the time we had by icing her legs and feet, giving her a good brush and bandage all legs. It was both and early night for her and us as we put her away with a nice feed and we headed back to the hotel to rest up and sleep.
11/12/2010 - From Lisa Jones
Well hello everyone!
Wednesday 8th was the day to give you all my perspective on a day here in Hong Kong.
It was an important day for Tori's HK Sprint Campaign. She galloped today over 1000m improving the last 600m, her work looked impressive to me, running 22.5 secs her last 400,and still looking about at that. Her quick recovery was even more pleasing showing no signs of distress or pain (a miracle considering our trackwork mishap only 1 week prior.)
Jake and I have spent a week using copious amounts of ice and I have wrapped every limb morning and night to avoid swelling or contamination of her cuts and abrasions.
Apart from" that Cat incident" our stay here has been fantastic with a very interesting trip to Shenzhen China, a fun night out at Happy Valley Races. I thoroughly enjoyed the races and it was made more enjoyable being able to cheer on our own Nash Rawiller winning a leg of the international Jockey Challenge.
So far it has been an incredible trip providing me with awesome memories.
Now it is up to the wonderful mare Ortensia, I'm sure she will run her best on Sunday and do us all proud.
Cheer for her and Australia,
Ortenisa was again on track today. She went around the all weather for 2 laps and seemed a little fired up with the big screen and surrounded by horses. But she pulled from this work fine. After her morning work we gave her a good hose, ice and put her away into her box for some breakfast. That afternoon we did a spot check to make sure everything was in place for Sunday’s big race. Race gear and most importantly the horse were all organised and in good order for the race. She had to go and get a vet inspection which she came through with glowing reports. So it was time for the race.
That night Dad, Tom and I headed out to dinner with some local family friends. Out of the city we found ourselves along the harbour markets buying different types of seafood for the chef to cook up. We tried so many foods that I have never heard of or seen before. I was the only one game enough to try this cooked egged that looked like it had been sitting in the fridge off for way to long. Green and brown they were but still happened to taste like any normal boiled egg. We had one of the best fish I have ever had. It was cooked perfectly and tasted great. It was Dads favorite which was hard to pick up on as he didn’t leave a scrap and licked his plate clean as he enjoyed every bit of food on the table whether it was dead or alive. It was becoming a late night by this stage so we packed up and headed home to ensure we had the right amount of rest for the big day we had in store.
The day had finally arrived. It was something the whole team and you could say most people involved in the Australian racing industry had been waiting for. We were up quiet early to get a urine sample from her. This took a while as the mare had really needed to go when the vets arrived. Finally we had just enough to move on. We put her on the walker to stretch out her legs and get the blood flowing. Dad had decided to put the saddle on her this morning to stretch her legs and get a good range on her action. To me as the rider she felt great. I couldn’t fault her. She looked and felt great and I was so confident in the mare to run a super race. After her short walk and trot we polished her up with some shampoo and had her looking glamorous before we put her away to prepare her self for her race. After all she did have to look pretty being the only mare in the race.
That afternoon id say we all had a bit of nerves in us all. Especially when our bus didn’t arrive to take me to quarantine to help get her ready. Because I was running late I had to meet Lisa there. Luckily enough, Lisa was well prepared and had the horse ready and at the races on time. She looked great and once Ortensia pre race nerves had settled we saddled her up and had her in the mounting yard. For her, she was so well behaved. She is known to get a bit fired up in the yard, but today she was a different horse. It was so great to see that over her years of racing she had really matured into a relaxed racehorse and knew to conserve her energy for the race. It was big credit to all the staff involved with her that had been working on her behavior and temperament in the mounting yard, because it really paid off today. The instructions were given briefly and we received the best looking horse of the yard. So no matter what happened we were still winners at the end of the day. It was time for the jockey to be legged on and taken out the starting barriers. I know at the time I wasn’t nervous at all, but just excited. For me there was nothing to be nervous about. She was in my eyes a champion mare no matter what the result was today. Being the underdogs to the locals probably took away and pressure on us. But I know Tom was quiet nervous at the time. He just really wanted to see her be successful in group one company just like everyone did. But he really wanted it for Dad. He knew Dad had been working real hard to get the group 1 with her and with the unfortunate end result of the galaxy Tom was hoping that this could regain Dads confidence and put the stable in great winning form again.
Before we knew it they were loaded in the gates and away and racing. She positioned midfield and with just a moderate tempo ran home better than any back markers but found it impossible to run down the on paces. It didn’t bother me. I was so proud of her and her run. Her ears were pinned to the top of her head as she tried her heart out to the line. It was a terrific run and had everyone pleased with her effort. To come fifth in a group 1 is excellent, but to do it against this caliber and quality of international horses was a credit to our mare. She today proved her self as a racehorse in group 1 company.
After the race Lisa, Tom and I took her home after a big drink of water. We didn’t waste time as we wanted her to have as much time as possible to recover so we washed her, fed and put her to bed. It was such a big and exciting day for everyone on track. I know everyone involved with the horse in Honk Kong and in Australia were proud of her effort and run today. Unfortunately we didn’t win, but growing up with Dad we always focused on the positives in life and especially in this industry. She ran super and gave everyone and especially Dad a great buzz and confidence to know that what ever she is set for in the near future will be sure to be a success.