Co-trainers Jamie Edwards and Bruce Elkington are eyeing a possible run in the $350,000 Group 2 Zipping Classic (2400m) at the end of the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival for Wednesday’s Bendigo Cup 2013 betting favourite Sertorius.
The Freshwater Creek-based Galileo gelding is top of the markets at $4.40 for the $240, 000 Listed Jayco Bendigo Cup (2400m) and could be stepped up to Group company again after this if all goes to plan.
Last seen running two and a half lengths away second to German import Pakal in the Listed Cranbourne Cup (2025m) on October 13, Sertorius will again be ridden by their regular jockey Ryan Maloney as they chase their eighth win at start number 23.
It’s been a little while between drinks for the honest six-year-old too as they haven’t won a race since a 2000m handicap at Flemington last Emirates Stakes Day, which was their fifth win on the trot last spring.
The Bendigo Cup will be their first look at further than 2000m, but Edwards remains confident they’ll handle the step-up in distance.
“He should been running somewhere midfield and the way he seems this preparation all he wants to do is relax and settle,” he told Racing Victoria.
“He won over 2000 metres at Flemington last Spring Carnival and now we’re 12 months down the track and he’s running over 2400 so that’s a natural progression you would think maturing from a five-year-old to a six-year-old.”
Should they break the drought at Bendigo this week there’s plenty of other future options this prep for them.
“He has only had the three runs this time in so he’s certainly not bottomed out or had enough, in fact I think you’ll find he’ll improve a bit for having had the one run over a mile-and-a-half (2400m),” Edwards said.
“He had a great spring last year, we deliberately gave him a light autumn so that he could have a heavy Spring so hopefully it will all pay off.”
Among the races Edwards and Elkington are considering are the Group 3 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2600m) on this year’s Emirates Stakes Day held November 9 and the 2013 Zipping Classic a week later.
There’s also a chance they will be given another go at the $200,000 Listed Ballarat Cup (2200m) on November 24 where they ran seventh to King diamond in last year.
The horse’s trainers decided on the Bendigo Cup over a go at the lucrative $400,000 Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m) at Caulfield earlier in the month, which was to be the original goal, after they showed signs of needing further than a mile.
“He looked to be settling in his races and finishing off so we took the punt to miss the Toorak and go straight to the Cranbourne Cup and he obviously got back and hammered home and made up a lot of ground and just looked like a 2400 metre horse waiting to happen,” Edwards said.
“He pulled up really well after the race and we were trying to get him into the Geelong Cup and he twisted his fetlock in his final gallop leading up to the race so we missed that and rested the joint for a week and opted to go to the Bendigo Cup instead.
“It (the injury) has pulled up good and the vet has given him the all clear this morning so he’s all ready to go.”
Among Sertorius’ main dangers at Bendigo this week meanwhile are the Peter Moody-trained Kesampour and Moonee Valley Cup third placegetter Gotta Take Care.
“He’s a lovely horse. He tries hard, he’s very honest and consistent and I’m pretty upbeat about him going into Wednesday,” Edwards added speaking of Sertorius.
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