Trainer Jamie Edwards has revealed that he will give Sertorius a chance at Group 1 level during the autumn, if the progressive stayer is able to prove he is up to the class in the Group 2 weight-for-age Zipping Classic (2400m) at Caulfield tomorrow.
Sertorius has always shown a great deal of ability, recording four straight wins during the 2012 Spring Racing Carnival, but has proven he is good enough to compete at Group level during his spring preparation.
The Galileo gelding started his campaign with an impressive sixth in the Group 3 Bobbie Lewis Quality (1200m) at Flemington on September 7 before finishing second behind Toorak Handicap placegetter Blackie in the Jeep Don’t Hold Back Handicap (1500m) at Moonee Valley.
He finished an unlucky second behind imported stayer Pakal in the Listed Cranbourne Cup (2025m) before breaking through for his maiden win at Listed level in the Bendigo Cup and finishing a narrow second behind Precedence in the Group 3 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2600m).
Edwards told AAP that he has been thrilled with the progress that Sertorius has made this preparation and is hopeful that his star galloper can prove he is ready for the step-up to Group 1 company by winning the Zipping Classic this weekend.
“This preparation was all about finding out how good he was and I think he’s proven he’s a genuine Group Two, Group Three horse this time in,” Edwards said.
“Hopefully we can raise the bar again in the autumn and he’ll probably get a crack at some Group One races at some stage.”
While Edwards believes that Sertorius still has to improve to be competitive at the highest level of racing, he has already started to outline an autumn plan for the six-year-old.
The additional prizemoney allocated to the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) means that it will be the major 2014 Autumn Racing Carnival target for the majority of leading stayers and Edwards feels that will open opportunities for less credentialed horses in the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) during the Melbourne Festival Of Racing and the Group 1 The BMW (2400m) at Rosehill Gardens.
“With the massive increase in prizemoney going into Sydney, it might draw a couple of horses away from the Melbourne autumn staying races,” Edwards said.
“It might just leave The BMW a little bit vulnerable up there, so that may be a race that might be worthwhile us targeting.”
Edwards is chasing his first win at Group level since he won the Group 1 South Australian Derby (2500m) with Lazer Sharp in 2007.