Sertorius outstayed Escado in the final stages to record his first race win in over 18 months in the 2015 Easter Cup at Caulfield this afternoon.
Sertorius returned to racing with a impressive second place finish behind Doncaster Mile hopeful Suavito in the Group 2 Blamey Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on Super Saturday and he was well backed in the lead-up to the Easter Cup, but started the race on the second line of betting behind The Cleaner.
The Cleaner took up his trademark positio at the front of the field, but he was unable to respond when he was asked for an extra effort by jockey Steven Arnold and Escado looked like the winner at the 250 metre mark.
Sertorius took a while to knuckle down, but he flattened out at the 100 metre mark and was able to get his nose in front of Escado in the shadows of the post to take out the 2015 Easter Cup.
Jockey Noel Callow said after the race that he was keen to race Sertorius closer to the speed in the early stages of the Easter Cup, but was quick to praise the toughness shown by the veteran stayer in the final 100 metres.
“The plan was to be behind The Cleaner, but he didn’t break that good, which he can do,” Callow said.
“I was a pair back than I wanted to be, I wanted to be where Dean Holland was and not where I was, but when Escado got caught wide I elected to cart him up where I had cover anyway and it worked to my advantage because he is a deadset stayer this horse and he just keeps on going on.”
Co-trainer Jamie Edwards revealed after the race that he was slighly concerned about Sertorius chances in the Easter Cup because of his lacklustre second-up record, but he was delighted to see his star galloper record his first race win since he took out the 2013 edition of the Group 2 Zipping Classic (2400m).
Edwards confirmed that Sertorius would head to the spelling paddock following his Easter Cup victory and he said that he was a great privledge to be able to train a horse that still offered so much as an okder horse.
“He is an interesting horse because when you look back at his history his second-up run is normally a little bit flat and even today in the first furlong he was a little bit flat,” Edwards said.
“We thought that he reached his absolute prime in the autumn last year and he ran 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th in Group 1s last year, but he was always a couple of lengths off them and we decided this year to target the Group 2s and Group 3s with him and that is probably more realistic.
“This is his grade, but I thought his run in the Blamey was super and he was tough today.
“We always intended to only give him a light autumn and he will go straight to the paddock tomorrow.
“I am very, very lucky to train a horse like him.
“He is a rising eight and he is going as good as ever.”
The Cleaner started the race as favourite, but failed to fire in the final stages and will return to the spelling paddock in Tasmania.
The Championships has been postponed until Easter Monday, but you can still wide the best odds for all the major races with Ladbrokes.com.au!