Trainer Jamie Edwards described the luckless Melbourne Cup run of his veteran stayer Sertorius as one of the best of his life and is so pleased with the way he pulled up that he runs him in the Zipping Classic 2015 this weekend.
A 42-start eight-year-old son of Galileo, Sertorius was 12th past the post behind Darren Weir’s $101 winner Prince Of Penzance in last Tuesday’s $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington.
Like many of the race’s top fancies Sertorius, also a $101 outsider in betting for the ‘race that stops a nation’, got shuffled back and was unable to make up enough ground to finish better than 12th when four and three-quarter lengths away.
“He just continued to get shuffled back. We wanted to be third or fourth, then we got shuffled back to 15th, 16th and the on the turn he was 20th,” Edwards told the Herald Sun, describing Sertorius’s Melbourne Cup performance as the “best run of his life”.
“In the finish he was beaten four and a half lengths so you can’t help but think if he’d had a better run he would have been in the money.”
Originally the Geelong-based Edwards planned to turn Sertorius out post-Melbourne Cup, but after pulling up extremely well he’ll get another chance to win for the first time since his Group 3 Easter Cup (2000m) win at Caulfield back in early April.
“Before the race I was thinking he would be going out but you wouldn’t know he’d even had a race he pulled up that well,” Edwards said.
“He’s worked up beautifully since so he’ll head to Sandown.”
Instead of taking on the likes of Gai Waterhouse’s 2014 Sydney Cup winner The Offer, who also put in a gun run when eighth in the Melbourne Cup on November 3, by running in the $150,000 Listed Sandown Cup (3200m) over the two miles again, Edwards has accepted Sertorius for the weight-for-age $300,000 Group 2 Zipping Classic (2400m).
Dropping back to a mile and a half with Craig Newitt retaining the ride, the Zipping Classic Day assignment sees Sertorius take on just seven rivals led by Weir’s Queen’s Cup winner over 2600m last Saturday at Flemington.
It will be his first official start at Sandown Hillside, but he does have a solid record at the Lakeside track and won the Group 2 Sandown Classic (2400m) back in 2013 when the race ran at Caulfield.
Group 1 performed and placed at elite level, including this third behind The Offer in the Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) in April last year, Sertorius carried 52.5kg in the Melbourne Cup so goes up notably in weight to 59kg on the weekend.
Edwards is still confident of a good run before the galloper heads to the paddock before he returns next year targeting either the Group 2 Adelaide Cup (3200m) in early March at Morphettville Racecourse or the Group 1 Sydney Cup (3220m) at Royal Randwick during The Championships in the autumn – both events also run over the two miles.
After that, another shot at the Melbourne Cup could be on the agenda for the ageing stayer.
The Zipping Classic jumps as Race 5 at 3:25pm (AEST) on Saturday afternoon, acceptances for all the Sandown races closing on Wednesday morning.
Sertorius jumps from gate seven of eight.
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