Progressive stayer Sertorius is set to contest the Group 1 2014 Orr Stakes (1400m) this weekend after recovering from a minor setback.
Sertorius returned from the spelling paddock in excellent condition, but struggled during the recent heat wave in Melbourne and failed to fire in a jump out just under a fortnight ago.
Trainer Jamie Edwards told Racing Ahead this morning that they were briefly concerned about the wellbeing of Sertorius, but said that the son of Galileo is back to his usual self ahead of his return to racing.
“He is a bit of a revvy sort of a horse and he just got knocked around by that heat and it just seemed to take the edge of him a little bit,” Edwards said.
“He had a gallop here at the Farm this morning and he seemed bright and sharp, so he is right back on track.
“We were a little bit worried there for a couple of days, his trial was little bit flat, and we weren’t sure whether it was the heat or a horse looking for two mile.
“His work this morning was beautiful and he is back to his old self.”
Sertorius has generally performed well first-up and started his 2013 Spring Racing Carnival campaign with a fast-finishing sixth behind Speediness in the Group 3 Bobbie Lewis Quality (1200m) at Flemington on September 7.
Edwards believes that the six-year-old has the fitness required to run well on Saturday, but admits that he is slightly out of depth over 1400 metres in the Orr Stakes and will improve when he gets over a longer trip.
“It is the same horse, but the only difference is that we were down in the weights in a handicap rather than at weight-for-age,” Edwards said.
“He is in a similar sort of condition than what he was last year, but 1400 metres at weight-for-age might be a little bit difficult.”
Edwards confirmed that Sertorius would contest the Group 2 Peter Young Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on February 22 and the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington on March 8, but remains unsure whether the tough stayer will press on to the 2014 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.
“If he is not competitive in an Australian Cup we are only wasting our time going to Sydney, so we could give him a break before coming back for the handicaps in the spring,” Edwards said.
“If he is round the mark in the Australian Cup we will head to Sydney with him.”
Edwards is chasing his first win at Group 1 level since he took out the 2007 edition of the South Australian Derby (2500m) with Lazer Sharp.