Coming off a last-start victory in the Group 2 Yallambee Classic (1200m) at Morphettville on March 14, Shrapnel has been one of the heaviest supported runners taking part in the $350,000 Group 1 The James Boag Galaxy (1100m).
“We opened them (Shrapnel) at $11 and immediately took a couple of bets of $1000 and then a bet of $5000 each way at $10,” Sportingbet Australia CEO Michael Sullivan said.
“Punters haven’t been put off though with more money coming at $9 and it is still coming at $8.00.
“He was very heavily backed when he won the Yallambee in Adelaide last start and the punters have stuck with him.”
The consistent colt has won three of their seven starts to date and is Group 1 placed having run third to Star Witness in the Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) during the spring.
Tomorrow Shrapnel is set to jump from the ideal barrier two draw as one of the 51kg lightweights of the 13-horse field with Corey Brown in the mount.
In a wide open market the current favourite to win the 2011 The Galaxy is Swift Alliance paying $5 despite the Gai Waterhouse-trained Sebring Stakes winner having drawn wide with barrier 13.
Michael Sullivan also reported money coming in for a number of other chances.
“Ortensia has been rock solid at $5.50 while Thangodyou’rehere has been backed from $7.00 to $6.50 and Solar Charged has been $10 to $8.50,” he said.
“We have also seen money for King Pulse and News Alert at double figure odds.”
The Michael Moroney-trained Canny Lad gelding King Pulse, stablemate to hot Oaks chance on Saturday Brazilian Pulse, is third-up for the season having resumed after a lengthy 11 month spell following the severe injuries he sustained in the freak hailstorm that hit Flemington last year on Newmarket Handicap Day.
King Pulse sits around $11 in The Galaxy markets, the four-year-old as yet untested in Sydney.
“If he can go this way around (the Sydney way) he should be right in the race,” Moroney said.
An untapped talent, King Pulse is relatively lightly-raced for his age and faces a tough test against an experienced field of sprinters.
“Even though he’s a four-year-old he’s had very little racing and that’s going to be the little question mark in that he’s not quite as tough and hard as these other horses at the moment,” Moroney said.
“He’s getting there with practice and he’s got the natural ability to do it, it’s just whether he has got the street sense at this stage to do it.”
Another horse right in the market at a quote of around $6 is the Anthony Cummings-trained Redoute’s Choice mare Sister Madly.
Winner of the Group 3 Southern Cross Stakes (1200m) at her first-up start for the year at Randwick on February 12, Sister Madly is the pick of the field for Luxbet’s chief bookmaker Paul Vincent.
“Sister Madly looks hard to beat here,” Vincent told Races.com.au.
“I envisage her slotting in behind the anticipated hot speed and proving too strong with only 51.5kg on her back in what is a very tough race.”
Twelve months ago the Tony Noonan-trained Ortensia had her The Galaxy win stripped after returning a positive swab to a banned substance.
Back on Saturday seeking redemption at Randwick, Ortensia has drawn barrier 11 and will again be ridden by Craig Williams who was aboard her in The Galaxy last year.
“It is hard to win Group Ones as we found out last year,” Williams said.
“We won it with Ortensia and were unlucky not to keep it.
“I put the trophy in the cabinet next to the other one I’d picked up winning on Nicconi the year before.
“When they took it away it left a bit of a dust mark and I’ll need another one to cover it.”
Ortensia is another runner Vincent rates as a top chance.
“Ortenisa is another who will be running home late and looms as the logical danger,” Vincent said.