Tony Noonan’s classy mare Ortensia is one of 20 horses nominated for the $350,000 Group 1 The Galaxy (1100m), one of the three elite level features running at Randwick’s Doncaster Mile Day this Saturday, April 16.
The five-year-old daughter of Testa Rossa is seeking her maiden Group 1 win, Ortensia having raced 10 times previously at the highest level without success.
Twelve months ago Ortensia crossed the line first in The Galaxy, but had her win stripped after returning a positive swab to the banned substance ractopamine.
To this day, how the substance got into her blood has not been determined, Noonan never penalised for the positive testing.
Her more recent runs have produced solid results, but it is the Group 1 title Noonan is after.
Ortensia’s sole spring start saw her finish third behind the world’s best horse Black Caviar in the Group 1 Patinack Farm Classic (1200m) before a trip overseas where she ran a game fifth beaten less than two lengths by J J The Jet Plate in the Group 1 The Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Sprint (1200m) at Sha Tin in December.
“To finish as close as she did to J J the Jet Plane and Rocket Man was a super effort especially as they both went on to win in Dubai,” Noonan said.
This season Ortensia has had three runs, two at Group 1 level when third to the now retired Typhoon Tracy in the CF Orr Stakes (1400m) and then sixth behind More Joyous in the Futurity Stakes (1400m) on February 26.
Noonan remains confident heading into Saturday’s The Galaxy despite the six week break between runs.
“She jarred up after her last run and it took a little time for her to recover,” Noonan said.
“She is already in Sydney and has been working well going towards the Galaxy.”
Chris Waller, whose champion Rangirangdoo was not accepted for the Doncaster Mile on Saturday, will be out for back-to-back wins in The Galaxy with Shellscrape.
Originally coming in second behind Ortensia, Shellscrape was awarded the win in The Galaxy with Swift Alliance bumped from third to second 12 months earlier, but has failed to enter the winners circle since.
Gai Waterhouse’s Swift Alliance is also back this year, the 58kg top-weight of The Galaxy field coming off a good three length win in the Group 3 Sebring Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill on April 2, as is 2009 runner-up Keen Commander.
Other notable nominees include the David Hayes-trained Oakleigh Plate winner Eagle Falls, Michael Moroney’s Canny Lad four-year-old King Pulse, in-form five-year-old Atomic Force, Hawkesbury Gold Cup champion Thankgodyou’rehere, the Mark Kavanagh-trained Shrapnel coming off a win in the Group 2 Yalambee Classic (1200m) at Morphettville and John O’Shea’s three-year-old filly Solar Charged.
O’Shea nominated Solar Charged for the feature after she ran a game third behind boom sprinter Hay List in the Group 2 Challenge Stakes (1000m) at Warwick Farm on March 27.
Solar Charged is a daughter of Charge Forward who won the 2005 The Galaxy.
“Her father won it and I’d like her in it too,” O’Shea said.
While the final field for the 2011 Doncaster Mile was released this morning with odds-on favourite More Joyous to face 17 rivals, The Galaxy acceptances will be taken tomorrow and published here at Races.com.au.
2011 The Galaxy Nominations
|1||SWIFT ALLIANCE||Gai Waterhouse||1||58kg||112|
|2||EAGLE FALLS||David Hayes||2=||57.5kg||111|
|4||KEEN COMMANDER||Denise Mcgrath||5||55kg||106|
|5||AVENUE||Peter G Moody||4||54.5kg||109|
|7||NEWS ALERT||Con Karakatsanis||7=||53.5kg||103|
|8||KING PULSE||Michael Moroney||10||51.5kg||99|
|9||SISTER MADLY||Anthony Cummings||7=||51.5kg||103|
|10||ATOMIC FORCE||Darren Smith||11||51kg||98|
|11||CARDINAL VIRTUE||David Payne||14||51kg||93|
|12||MY VEGAS||John McNair||18||51kg||84|
|13||NIGHTOFTHEGENERAL||Ross Simpson & Tracey Barnes||16||51kg||88|
|14||PANIPIQUE||Peter G Moody||13||51kg||95|
|15||RECOUP DE FORTUNE||Anthony Cummings||17||51kg||86|
|17||SARGE IN CHARGE (NZ)||Liam Birchley||20||51kg||71|
|19||SOLAR CHARGED||John O’Shea||9||51kg||100|
|20||THANKGODYOU’REHERE||Patrick & Wayne Webster||15||51kg||92|