A typically strong and consistent performer over six races in the 2014 Autumn Carnival, jockey Ryan Moloney is confident a hard-fought run for sixth in the Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) two weeks ago will bode well for Sertorius’s chances in this afternoon’s Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington.
Securing an impressive total of nine race wins and thirteen minor places from 32 competitive starts for trainers Bruce Elkington and Jamie Edwards, Sertorius was given little chance of figuring over the short distance of the Memsie Stakes, but more than laid a great account for himself in finishing sixth.
Charged with overcoming the wide barrier 11 in the Makybe Diva Stakes, Moloney told the Herald Sun he is confident the conditions of the Flemington feature will allow Sertorius to give his opponents a serious shock this afternoon.
“That run convinced me he could win this race,” Moloney said of the seven-year-old’s Memsie Stakes performance.
“You go back five or so years you had horses like Makybe Diva winning these weight-for-age races, but there’s not that sort of horse around at the moment and Sertorius has run well against better horses before.
“There doesn’t look to be much speed. I might even come across and sit outside the leader.”
Finishing worse than second just once over six starts through the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival, Sertorius ran on for sixth behind Speediness in the Group 3 Bobbie Lewis Quality (1200m) first-up before finishing second in both the Listed Cranbourne Cup (2025m) and Group 3 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2600m) and winning both the Listed Bendigo Cup (2400m) and Group 2 Zipping Classic (2400m) most notably.
Finishing a particularly impressive second in the Group 1 Futurity Stakes (1400m) first-up this year, the Galileo gelding continued to build in form and class on his way to a spirited third in the rain-soaked Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) on Day 2 of The Championships.
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