Murwillumbah trainer Matthew Dunn is looking...
Local Freshwater Creek-based trainer Jamie Edwards is confident his Group 1 performing veteran Sertorius is a winning chance in today’s Geelong Cup 2015 with the galloper a longshot chance of backing up in the Melbourne Cup on the first Tuesday of November.
An eight-year-old son of Galileo, Sertorius has to date won 10 of his 40 career starts, the most recent of which was Caulfield’s Group 3 Easter Cup (2000m) back in early April.
This week he has his fourth run at Geelong Racecourse, running in Wednesday’s lucrative $300,000 Group 3 Geelong Cup (2400m) over the mile and a half for the second year in a row.
Last Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival Sertorius could only manage to finish nearly nine lengths away eighth to Caravan Rolls On in the Geelong Cup in his final run of that campaign after which he pulled up sore and went to the paddock.
His autumn was an improved prep and the stayer was last seen running sixth behind Amralah in the Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m).
He has had two elite level runs this time in finishing 10th in both the Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) and Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield beaten only 2.85 lengths and 4 lengths respectively in brave efforts.
Now Edwards is hoping he can improve on his Geelong Cup performance from last year and win his third 2400m trophy at his sixth start over the distance.
“He tends to run really good races in the Group 1 races, but he tends to win these sort of races,” Edwards told Racing Victoria on Tuesday.
“The run over the mile-and-a-half, back to his home track, blinkers on … this is as good as we can have the horse.
“If he doesn’t perform tomorrow, he’s not good enough. Simple.”
Sertorius carried 59kg last time out but drops to a more manageable 56.5kg in the Geelong Cup with Ryan Maloney retaining the ride from a nice barrier five draw.
Edwards still officially has the horse nominated for the iconic $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington Racecourse on November 3, but sitting 35th on the order of entry for the ‘race that stops a nation’, Sertorius is only rated a $201 outsider in futures Melbourne Cup odds at Ladbrokes.com.au.
He is at a much shorter quote to get the job done in the Geelong Cup paying $14 (out from $11), but available at Best Tote or SP + 20% today through Ladbrokes, in markets led by 2013 Caulfield Cup runner-up Dandino ($3.30) and British raider Quest For More ($4.80) who carries the 59kg top weight in his Australian race debut.
“It’d be great to win it as a local,” Edwards, who saddles-up one of only two local hopes along with the Bryce Stanaway-trained Crafty Cruiser ($41), said of the Geelong Cup.
“I think only one local has won this race in the last 100 years. It’d be fantastic to do it.
“Just good for local racing to have local horses in it.
“The internationals have been targeting the Geelong Cup and dominating the race, so it’d be good for local racing to have a local horse win it.”
If Sertorius fails to make the capacity 24-starter Melbourne Cup field this spring, he will instead run in the $300,000 Group 3 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2600m) on Emirates Stakes Day, November 7.
He ran second to Precedence in the 2013 Queen Elizabeth Stakes before winning that year’s Group 2 Sandown Classic (2400m), form Edwards is hoping he can return to this season.
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