Trainer Jamie Edwards is confident his Victorian cups performer Sertorius can continue their good spring run when going to Caulfield this Saturday for a shot at the Zipping Classic 2013.
Traditionally held at Sandown, the track currently undergoing renovations, this year’s $350,000 Group 2 Deadly Design Zipping Classic (2400m) drew 13 nominations.
One of them comes from the Freshwater Creek stables of Edwards and his co-trainer Bruce Elkington who are set to saddle-up their Galileo six-year-old Sertorius.
The gelding won the Listed Bendigo Cup (2400m) two back in their maiden run over the mile and a half, which they see again on the weekend.
After the Bendigo Cup the improving stayer ran at Flemington this Saturday gone on Emirates Stakes Day and came within a nostril flare of winning the Group 3 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2600m).
They were hampered over the final 100m and jockey Ryan Maloney lodged a protest, which was unsuccessful, so the win by the Bart Cummings-trained Precedence stood.
Precedence was balloted out of the Melbourne Cup field earlier this month denying Cummings his 88th starter in the ‘race that stops a nation’.
However the $100,000 bonus plus first prize for their win on the weekend help consolidate the crew somewhat.
Precedence is also set to back-up in the Zipping Classic this Saturday, and Edwards admits they are still the one to beat.
“Precedence is the horse to beat,” Edwards told the Herald Sun.
He is confident however that should the favourite go down it will be at the hands of his horse Sertorius who he believes is spot on fitness wise, saying Precedence may be feeling it at the end of their prep.
“He (Precedence) beat us by a short-head in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Flemington on Saturday,” Edwards said.
“But our bloke has pulled up super. I knew he had improved from the Bendigo Cup win to Saturday and he has not taken a step backwards since.
“Besides, I see that (Precedence’s co-trainer) James Cummings has said that the reason for the excellent form of Precedence is because they have kept him fresh and spaced his races. Now he will need to race twice in a week.
“We gave our bloke a light autumn so he could have a solid spring. This will be his sixth run and he will be at his peak for this.”
One thing working against Sertorius however is the weight-for-age conditions of the Zipping which will see him meet Precedence equal on 59kg.
For their Queen Elizabeth encounter Precedence was on 58kg while Sertorius snuck in with only 55.5kg.
It is a hurdle though that Edwards is hoping the horse can overcome to prove their class, the Zipping Classic still the preferred option over the Group 2 Sandown Cup over the 3200m.
“We toyed with the idea of the two miles of the Sandown Cup but we don’t have to stretch him to that distance this campaign,” Edwards said.
“We’d rather go to the 2400m at weight-for-age and give ourselves a look at what might be in the autumn.”
The 2013 Zipping Classic final field and barriers are due for release on Wednesday and will be published right here at Races.com.au.
Soon after our preferred online betting agency Ladbrokes.com.au will be opening their Zipping Classic markets making now the time to sign-up with them so you don’t miss out!