Sertorius is set to return to the races in the 2015 Memsie Stakes at Caulfield on Saturday and trainer Jamie Edwards is brimming with praise for his star galloper ahead of the Group 1 event.
Sertorius was restricted to just two race starts during the 2015 Melbourne Festival Of Racing and he was sent to the spelling paddock after he record a tough win in the Group 3 Easter Cup (2000m) at Caulfield on April 4 and Edwards told Racing Ahead that the Galileo gelding has absolutely thrived since returning to his Geelong-based stable.
Edwards revealed that Sertorius will not be at peak fitness in the 2015 Memsie Stakes, but he is confident that the eight-year-old will hit the line strongly and could be a winning chance if the leading hopes in betting fail to fire.
“I couldn’t be any happier with him and he is in fantastic nick,” Edwards said.
“He only had a really light autumn, which seems to work with this horse and he is ready to rock and roll.
“You would think that he is a three-year-old the way that he is carrying on at the farm and he is in very good condition.
“He is probably 80 or 90 percent fit and he is obviously not screwed down, but he is running time on the training track, he is eating his head off, he is very sound and he goes into Saturday without a single issue.
“I know that he is eight, but I thought that Mourinho and The Cleaner performed well as eight-year-olds the other day and you wouldn’t pick that he is an older horse.
“We are not getting carried away and expecting him to win a Group 1 race on Saturday, but I certainly know that he will be steaming to the line and if the other horses don’t perform his form is going to hold.”
While Edwards is thrilled with the physical condition of Sertorius, he was not happy when the veteran stayer was allocated barrier 14 when the 2015 Memsie Stakes field was released yesterday.
Edwards admits that Sertorius will likely need some luck in running from the wide draw, but he is hopeful that the Memsie Stakes field will run along and give jockey Ryan Maloney the chance to slot Sertorius in.
“He drew the outside in the Memsie last year and he went back and ran home pretty strongly,” Edwards said.
“We were just hoping that he could draw a half decent gate, but 14 is a pretty crap gate and he is going to have to rely on how he begins.
“It will be interesting to see how this race is run because being such a big field it could be run like a handicap where they tend to run along a bit early.
“There might be a better tempo and if that is the case it will help us slot in and get a better position.”
Edwards is yet to decide on the exact path that Sertorius will follow during the 2015 Spring Racing Carnival, but the Group 1 placegetter could press on to the Group 1 Maybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on September 12, the Group 3 JRA Cup (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 2 and the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m).
Sertorius is currently available at 2015 Memsie Stakes odds of $21, while Boban ($5) remains a clear favourite from Volkstok’n’barrell ($8), Hi World ($9) and Weary ($9).