Sertorius was scratched from the Group 3 Naturalism Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield last weekend, but trainer Jamie Edwards is confident that his star galloper is fighting fit ahead of the 2015 Underwood Stakes this weekend.
Sertorius returned to the races with a more than credible tenth behind Boban in the Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on August 29 and he would have started the Naturalism Stakes as one of the favourites, but he was ruled out of the race due to a high white blood cell count.
Edwards told Racing Ahead that he was never really concerned about the physical condition of the Sertorius and he said that he could not have been more impressed with the Galileo gelding’s final piece of trackwork heading into the 2015 Underwood Stakes.
“I had him in last Saturday and he had a high white blood cell (count), so I pulled him out of there,” Edwards said.
“It was more precautionary and he galloped quite brilliantly yesterday.
“He just came out of the pool about half an hour ago and he was prancing around.
“He is in as good a nick as we can produce him second-up and he is ready to rock and roll.”
Sertorius has shown plenty of tactical versatility throughout his racing career, but Edwards said that he will not give regular jockey Ryan Maloney any firm riding instructions in the lead-up to the Underwood Stakes.
Edwards believes that the presence of The Cleaner will give Sertorius the chance to settle in a lovely position with cover and he is confident that the eight-year-old will be flying home in the final stages of the Underwood Stakes.
“We will just make it up as we go,” Edwards said.
“He can every now and again be a bit slowish out, but there is good tempo in this race and they will get going a long way out.
“The race should pan out perfectly for us and the 1800 is right up his alley second-up.
“The more pressure on early the better for us and Ryan can just slot across if they string out and get a bit of cover.
“As long as he can get momentum from the half mile home he will be steaming to the line.”
Edwards is yet to decide on the exact path that Sertorius will follow during the 2015 Spring Racing Carnival, but races like the Group 1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m), Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m), Group 3 Geelong Cup (2400m) and the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) are all on the agenda for the talented stayer.
Sertorius is currently available at 2015 Underwood Stakes odds of $51 with Ladbrokes, while Fawkner ($3.30) is a clear favourite from Contributer ($4.50), The Cleaner ($6.50), Mongolian Khan ($11), Dibayani ($12), Weary ($13), Volkstok’n’barrell ($14), Dandino ($18), Hi World ($21) and Magicool ($34).