Trainer Jamie Edwards will decide on Friday whether Sertorius will take his place in the 2014 Sydney Cup field, but has confirmed that he is unlikely to run the progressive gelding on a heavy track.
Sertorius clearly did not handle the heavy going in the Group 2 Chairman’s Handicap (2600m) last weekend and the Royal Randwick track is currently rated a heavy nine, but Edwards is hoping that the warm weather expected in Sydney over the next 48 hours will help improve the condition of the track.
Edwards told Racing Ahead that he would walk the track on Friday before making a final decision, but said that Sertorius would take his place in the Sydney Cup field if the Royal Randwick was upgraded to a slow seven.
“We got found out pretty badly on a bottomless track on Saturday; when blokes like Jimmy Cassidy say that it’s the heaviest Randwick he has ever ridden on you can appreciate how heavy the track is,” Edwards said.
“It has rained all week and it looks as though it is going to be a heavy track, but today it is beautiful blue sunny skies and they are forecasting the same tomorrow and the same on Saturday, so we are going to get two and a half really good drying days into it.
“Every hour that it is drying helps us a little bit, but I am heading over to Randwick now to walk the track and I will do the same thing Friday before we make an assessment on where we go with it.
“I don’t think that we need to run the horse on a bottomless heavy track again.
“We have looked after him his whole career and the last thing I want to do now is risk injury on a bad track, but having said that it is such good prizemoney and the horse is in such good condition.
“If it comes up a slow seven or something than I would be confident he can turn-the-tables on Gai’s horse (The Offer).”
While Edwards is concerned about the state of the Royal Randwick track, he is delighted with the physical condition of Sertorius and is thrilled with the way the son of Galileo pulled up from his tough run in the Chairman’s Handicap last weekend.
Edwards said that he was glad he ran Sertorius in the Chairman’s Handicap, to take some freshness out of the horse, and is confident that the six-year-old will have no problem running a strong 3200 metres if he contests the Sydney Cup this weekend.
“I am glad that I ran him on Saturday,” Edwards said.
“He is jumping out of his skin the horse and he has not only held his condition, but he has probably put on a little bit of weight.
“I am just wrapped that we ran him on Saturday because he would had been too fresh for his first crack at two miles.
“At this stage of his preparation last time in he won the Zipping (Classic) and really got to the line full of it.
“Even last week he just sort of looked like he plodded to the line with 59, but other than the winner his last 50 was the best of any horse in the race.
“The winner was just a superior wet tracker and if we can negate the advantage of the wet track and meet it a kilo better, but Gai’s horse is the one to beat.”
Sertorius is currently available at 2014 Sydney Cup odds of $9; with The Offer ($4) still a clear favourite from Auckland Cup winner Who Shot Thebarman ($6).