Co-trainer Jamie Edwards has confirmed that Sertorius will not take his place in the 2015 Futurity Stakes at Caulfield this weekend.
Sertorius finished a close second behind Moment Of Change in the Group 1 Futurity Stakes (1400m) last year and was included in the nominations for the Group 1 event that were released yesterday, but Edwards told RSN this morning that he did not believe he had the Galileo gelding fit enough to return to racing against the likes of Dissident this weekend.
“He won’t go,” Edwards said.
“He is just not fit enough, it is as simple as that.
“I missed a pretty vital gallop with him last week, we had an inch and a half of rain here at the farm, and then we trialed him.
“He trialed up ok, but didn’t really steam to the line like a horse looking for a 1400 metre Group 1 weight-for-age race first-up.
“I gave him a jump out here at the farm this morning and he worked really well, but he is just a bit soft.
“If the race was next Saturday I wouldn’t hesitate, but I just think that Dissident will bounce to the front, stack them up and run home in 33 and he will have to run home in 32 to beat him.
“I don’t reckon the race will pan out for him.”
Sertorius failed to perform at his best during the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival following a lengthy autumn campaign and Edwards revealed last month that the seven-year-old would likely have a very short autumn preparation in order to save him for the 2015 Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival.
Edwards ruled out a Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) tilt for Sertorius and he said that the Group 2 winner could head straight back to the spelling paddock after he returns in the Group 2 Blamey Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on March 14.
“He is only going to have a light autumn and so we are not in a hurry with him at all,” Edwards said.
“We might go first-up in the Blamey or if he is still not 100 percent fit we might go to the Bendigo Mile or somewhere like that.
“The horse is in good condition and his times on the tracking track are as good as he has ever gone.
“He won’t go to the Australian Cup .
“He raced very flat in the spring, so we are very mindful not to bottom him out in the autumn.”
Dissident is currently available at 2015 Futurity Stakes odds of $1.70 with Ladbrokes and is a clear favourite from Weary ($3.80), Entirely Platinum ($4.80) and Boban ($8).