Thirteen top sprinters have been accepted for this Saturday’s $350,000 Group 1 The Galaxy (1100m) at Randwick, one of the three elite level showdowns highlighting a bumper 2011 Doncaster Mile Day programme.
The 2011 The James Boag Galaxy is due to run as Race 8 on Saturday jumping at 4:15pm (AEST) and Tony Noonan’s mare Ortensia, stripped of her win in the race 12 months ago due to the presence of a banned substance, has suffered an early blow drawing out wide with barrier 11.
Testa Rossa five-year-old Ortensia had the Group 1 win stripped removed from her career despite beating home all her rivals in last year’s The Galaxy when a swab revealed she had ractopamine in her system.
The victory was re-awarded to original runner-up Shellscrape, the most notable defector from this year’s The Galaxy field following yesterday’s nominations.
Ortensia will have Craig Williams in the mount on Saturday as she looks to set the record straight in the autumn sprint and finally claim an elusive Group 1 victory.
Another runner that is looking to secure their maiden Group 1 win in The Galaxy on Saturday is the Anthony Cummings-trained Sister Madly.
The four-year-old Redoute’s Choice mare has had just one run this prep, taking out the Group 3 Southern Cross Stakes (1200m) at Randwick back on February 12.
Sister Madly has drawn ideally in barrier five for Saturday, the same gate she jumped from to defeat Pinwheel by an easy one and three-quarter lengths in the Southern Cross, and will have top hoop Glen Boss aboard.
Having had five starts at Group 1 level in three separate states throughout her career, Sister Madly came closest when third to Rostova in the Sprotingbet Classic at Morphettville last March and second to superstar More Joyous in the 2009 Arrowfield Stud Flight Stakes.
Reportedly back in peak fitness ahead of Saturday, Sister Madly has had to overcome a hoof injury this season.
“She had a puncture wound to her frog and it took a while to settle down,” Anthony Cummings said.
“It took a few weeks to get her back but she trialled OK wearing a protective shoe.
“Her work recently has been very good and she goes into Saturday’s race in pretty much the same form that saw her win first-up.”
On Tuesday morning Sister Madly was one of a number of The Galaxy hopefuls that trialled at Rosehill in preparation for Saturday’s showdown.
“She was nice and settled this morning (Tuesday) and hit the line very well,” Cummings said.
“I’d expect they will be going along in the Galaxy so she should settle in behind them and hopefully prove hard to beat in the finish.”
One runner that missed out on their Sydney trial yesterday was Mark Kavanagh’s Shrapnel who had an elevated temperate.
The Charge Forward colt has since settled and are still set to contest The Galaxy on the weekend, Shrapnel looking for back-to-back Group wins having taken out the Group 2 Yallambee Classic (1200m) at Morphettville last start on March 14.
Last year Kavanagh went into The Galaxy with the then up-and-coming three-year-old Definitely Ready.
Well found in the market, Definitely Ready started second favourite in the race but failed to handle the Sydney way of going (clockwise) and only managed to finish eighth.
“I didn’t think it was going to be an issue last year with Definitely Ready, but it certainly was,” Kavanagh said.
Last year’s result has seen Kavanagh give Shrapnel plenty of experience racing clockwise in his trackwork both at Flemington and in Adelaide.
Shrapnel will also advantage from the drop back in weight from 56.5kg he carried to victory in the Yallambee to just 51kg for The Galaxy.
Sydney’s leading lady of racing Gai Waterhouse prepares the only other last-start winner in the 2011 The Galaxy field with Swift Alliance.
Don Eduardo five-year-old Swift Alliance won the Group 3 Sebring Stakes (1100m) by an easy three lengths on April 2 carrying 60kg to victory.
Swift Alliance drops back to 58kg for The Galaxy but has the far outside barrier 13 to overcome.
The big winner in The Galaxy barrier draw was the Michael Moroney-trained King Pulse.
Moroney, who will also saddle up Crown Oaks winning filly Brazilian Pulse in the Group 1 AJC Oaks at Randwick on Saturday, was confident heading into The Galaxy after King Pulse beat home Ilovethiscity in a Randwick track gallop on Tuesday saying he would improve greatly with the experience.
The Canny Lad four-year-old was fourth in the 2010 Newmarket Handicap after which King Pulse suffered serious injuries during the freak hailstorm that hit Flemington that day.
King Pulse resumed after a lengthy recovery in the Group 1 Lighting Stakes (1000m) on February 19 finishing seventh behind Black Caviar.
At his only other run this season, King Pulse finished fifth again beaten by Moody’s brilliant mare in the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) on March 12.
Other notable sprinters seeking Group 1 glory in The Galaxy on Saturday include Oakleigh Plate winner Eagle Falls (barrier nine), Commands seven-year-old Keen Commander (barrier seven) coming off a close second to Hay List in the Challenge Stakes and the Peter Moody-trained Avenue (barrier 12).
Meanwhile John O’Shea is looking to secure a second The Galaxy win having trained 2005 champion Charge Forward.
This year he will be represented by a daughter of Charge Forward, Solar Charged, the filly drawn well in barrier four and one of the 51kg lightweights of the field.
Solar Charged has had three runs this preparation having run third to Catapulted in the Group 3 Rubiton Stakes (1100m) first-up, fifth to Eagle Falls in the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield on Blue Diamond Stakes Day and then third to Hay List in the Group 2 Challenge Stakes (1000m) at Warwick Farm on March 27.
“She wasn’t that far away in the Oakleigh Plate in Melbourne,” O’Shea said.
“(Solar Charged) drops in weight and probably gets in a bit better here.
“Brenton Avdulla is going to ride her and he can get down to the weight, which is very important.
“She is going well and her run last time in the Challenge (stakes) was good.”
The feature race on the Randwick programme for Saturday is the $2 million Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) at 3:35pm (AEST) where More Joyous will attempt to win her 11th consecutive Sydney race.
2011 The James Boag Galaxy Final Field & Barrier Draw
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp. Rating|
|1||0412X01071||SWIFT ALLIANCE||Gai Waterhouse||Nash Rawiller||13||58kg||112|
|2||55X347X719||EAGLE FALLS||David Hayes||Damien Oliver||9||57.5kg||111|
|3||D580X35436||ORTENSIA||Tony Noonan||Craig Williams||11||55.5kg||111|
|4||80X10528X2||KEEN COMMANDER||Denise Mcgrath||Glyn Schofield||7||55kg||106|
|5||51191X2216||AVENUE||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||12||54.5kg||109|
|6||21X17X7952||NEWS ALERT||Con Karakatsanis||Jim Cassidy||3||53.5kg||103|
|7||230X340X1X||SISTER MADLY||Anthony Cummings||Glen Boss||5||51.5kg||103|
|8||112X4X75||KING PULSE||Michael Moroney||Kerrin McEvoy||1||51.5kg||99|
|9||X22910X353||SOLAR CHARGED||John O’Shea||Brenton Avdulla||4||51kg||100|
|10||21X2336114||ATOMIC FORCE||Darren Smith||Tim Clark||6||51kg||98|
|11||31X513X01||SHRAPNEL||Mark Kavanagh||Corey Brown||2||51kg||96|
|12||5371233083||CARDINAL VIRTUE||David Payne||Josh Adams (a)||10||51kg||93|
|13||21X1X1211X||THANKGODYOU’REHERE||Patrick & Wayne Webster||Rod Quinn||8||51kg||92|