Notorious traveller Sertorius faces his biggest hurdle even before he lines up in the Group 1 $500,000 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill on Saturday.
Sertorius is set to leave Jamie Edwards’ Victorian stables on Thursday night by float and the young trainer is hoping the Galileo gelding arrives in Sydney in one piece.
“When the float is moving, he’s fine, but as soon as it stops at lights, he thinks he’s getting off and starts kicking the walls of the float,’’ Edwards told the Herald Sun.
“He often kicks his shoes off and his hocks swell up as well. We put tape all over his hocks so he doesn’t cut them.
“The plan is to leave our stables on Thursday night and get into Sydney around 4.30am to 5am on Friday morning.”
Sertorius’s main Sydney Autumn Carnival targets are the Group 1 $1.5m The BMW (2400m) at Rosehill on April 5 and the Group 1 $1m Schweppes Sydney Cup (3200m) at Randwick on April 19.
Sertorius has been placed at his two runs in Melbourne this campaign with an eye catching second to Moment Of Change in the Group 1 $500,000 Cathay Pacific Futurity Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on February 22 after missing the start and a third to Lidari in the Group 2 $220,000 Incognitus Blamey Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on March 8.
And even though Sertorius is stepping to 2000m in the Ranvet Stakes, Edwards is not really expecting him to shine until he gets to the 2400m of The BMW.
“Realistically he’s going to be up against it over 2000m. He’s more of a 2400m horse and I would think those horses are going to be too sharp for him,” Edwards said.
“As long as his sectionals are good and he travels up well, we’ll be back for The BMW and the Sydney Cup.
“If it all goes according to plan and he races and travels well, he’ll come home and then go back each time for those two races.”
Edwards, who trains in partnership with Bruce Elkington at Freshwater Creek outside of Geelong, is willing to forgive Sertorius’ last start third in the Blamey Stakes when favourite.
“The tempo of the race was against him,’’ Edwards said.
“His first-up run when he finished second in the Futurity Stakes probably flattered him as they ran along. His last 600m in the Blamey Stakes were faster than the Futurity.”
Edwards knows that Saturday’s weight for age contest against Melbourne Cup winner Fiorente and star Kiwi performer It’s A Dundeel will be a tough contest and the six year old will need everything to go his way if he is to be competitive.
“He’ll need to be in front of Fiorente and It’s A Dundeel if he’s got any hope of beating them,’’ Edwards said.
“He makes a long, sustained run and just keeps coming and coming. A sit and sprint race doesn’t suit him.”
Sertorius will be ridden again by Ryan Maloney and has drawn barrier six in the nine horse Ranvet Stakes field.
Fiorente with Damien Oliver aboard will jump from gate four while It’s A Dundeel has drawn the inside marble with James McDonald to continue his association.