Spring plans are currently wide open for Jamie Edwards’ Victorian galloper Sertorius including a possible campaign targeting the Melbourne Cup 2014on the first Tuesday of November.
Whether the Galileo six-year-old is dour enough for a shot at the world’s richest handicap at Flemington on November 4, or if they’re more suited to a shot at the $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) in late October, will be decided early in their campaign.
To help their Freshwater Creek-based trainer make the decision will be the gelding’s performance in the $500,000 Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on October 4.
If they show up sharp in that set weights plus penalties clash then Moonee Valley’s weight-for-age Cox Plate on October 25 will become the major aim.
“It will tell us whether we go to a Caulfield Cup or if he’s sharp enough to go to a Cox Plate or whether he’s really dour and we go to a Melbourne Cup,” Edwards told TVN speaking of the Turnbull Stakes.
“That’s the race that’s going to tell us.
“It’s a mile and a quarter and it will let us know if we stay at a mile and a quarter or go to the mile and a half or if he is looking for two miles.”
Latest Cox Plate odds at Ladbrokes.com.au are led by the Gai Waterhouse-trained, The Queen-owned Carlton House ($9) while Sertorius is yet to be added to the pre-nomination markets.
They are however listed in the futures markets for the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) paying $41 in odds led by Waterhouse’s Sydney Cup champ The Offer.
The Melbourne Cup will become the spring goal for the galloper if they show they need more distance in the Turnbull.
They will head towards the ‘race that stops a nation’ then via the $2.65 million Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 18, bypassing the Cox Plate the following Saturday.
Whichever path Sertorius heads down Edwards is confident they’re in line for a career best campaign.
“This will be his best prep, I have no doubt about that,” he said.
“The horse is absolutely perfect, he went through the weight-for-age in Sydney through the autumn and performed right up to the best.
“I know he’s up to that level of racing and back to Melbourne where you would tend to think he’s going to be better than he was in the autumn.
“I can’t be any happier with the horse.”
A winner of nine of their 31 starts to date they were last seen running third in the Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) on April 19.
They were also Group 1 performed last time in when fourth to Silent Achiever, another 2014 Melbourne Cup hope, in Sydney’s The BMW and second to Moment Of Change in the Futurity Stakes first-up at Caulfield.
Last spring they were super consistent running top two in five of their six starts including their Group 2 Zipping Classic (2400m) win in mid-November.
Edwards indicated a nice first-up race this time in could be the $400,000 Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on August 30 having come back into work in top order.
“He could not be in better condition, he’s bright, he’s well,” Edwards said.
“He’s absolutely perfect as to the way you would want a horse to spell.”
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