Trainer Jamie Edwards has revealed that Sertorius will start his 2014 Spring Racing Carnival campaign in the 2014 Memsie Stakesat Caulfield on August 30.
Sertorius was competitive at weight-for-age level throughout his autumn preparation, finishing second in the Group 1 Futurity Stakes (1400m), fifth in the Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) and fourth in the Group 1 The BMW (2400m), before performing well on unsuitable tracks in both the Group 2 Chairman’s Handicap (2600m) and the Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m).
The Galileo gelding was sent to the spelling paddock after his third place finish in the Sydney Cup and returned to his stable this morning; with Edwards delighted with the appearance of the rising seven-year-old ahead of his spring preparation.
“He just got off the truck from Sydney and it is good to have the good horse back in the stable,” Edwards told RSN.
“He got his shoes put on him and we will start working him tomorrow and he will head off to the spring.
“This is the best that I have seen him coming out of the paddock.
“He is traditionally not a great speller, but I deliberately left him up in Sydney because of the weather and it was easily the best he has looked at the start of a campaign.”
Edwards confirmed that Sertorius would start his preparation in the Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) and head towards the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on October 4, but is unsure whether the tough gelding will step-up in trip for the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 18 or remain at weight-for-age level for the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 25.
The rising trainer believes that the retirements of Fiorente, It’s A Dundeel and Shamus Award may leave the Australian weight-for-age ranks weaker than usual during the 2014 Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival and is hoping that Sertorius will have the measure of his locally-trained rivals.
“This will be his best prep what is in front of him,” Edwards said.
“We raced against a good level of horses last time in and Fiorente and It’s A Dundeel and them aren’t around, so it sort of leaves him as the seasoned weight-for-age horse.
“We will start him off in the Memsie and head towards the Turnbull.
“After the Turnbull we will look at the Caulfield Cup in two weeks and the Cox Plate in three weeks and it just all depends.
“If he is looking for the mile and a half we will obviously go to the Caulfield Cup and if he just seems nice and sharp and fresh we will miss that and go to the Cox Plate.
“The Turnbull will be where we make a decision, which way that we turn with him.
“It is a hard one because he ran thirds and fourths to all these top horses in the autumn and the better weight-for-age horses that he was racing and finishing right next to aren’t around.
“It will be interesting to see what internationals come over, but certainly locally I don’t think the weight-for-age races are coming to be as strong as they have been in the past.”
Sertorius is currently available at 2014 Caulfield Cup odds of $34 and is priced at $34 to win the 2014 Melbourne Cup.