Improving weather and track conditions have paved the way for Sertorius to take his place in the $1 million Sydney Cup.
Trainer Jamie Edwards walked the Randwick course on Friday morning before all but confirming Sertorius a starter unless there was a deterioration in the weather before scratching deadline on Saturday.
Edwards is convinced Sertorius is in perfect order for the 3200m race on the back of two tough staying runs in consecutive weeks in The BMW and then the Chairman’s Handicap.
Sertorius, however, showed Edwards he was not at his best on genuinely heavy ground when fourth to Cup favourite The Offer in the Chairman’s Handicap last Saturday which has had the trainer monitoring the weather.
“I would think that the horse will run. The track is significantly better than what it was last Saturday,” Edwards said.
He likened it to the conditions at Rosehill where Sertorius was beaten less than three lengths in the weight-for-age Group One BMW two weeks ago.
“It’s not a bottomless track like it was on Saturday,” Edwards said.
“We got found out pretty badly on a bog, heavy track but I think the horse goes through a slow-to-heavy track.”
After three days of fine weather in Sydney Randwick is reaching the slow range.
Sertorius, winner of the Zipping Classic and Bendigo Cup, has never raced beyond 2600m but Edwards is optimistic about the 2100 metres.
“If he’s ever going to run two miles it will be Saturday,” Edwards said.
“The horse has actually put on a little bit of weight which is quite amazing.
“He’s had two runs over a mile-and-a-half in two weeks and he hasn’t left a single bit of feed. He’s drinking a lot of water and he’s bright and well and very fit.”
The Offer is the clear-cut $2.80 TAB favourite ahead of Auckland Cup winner Who Shot Thebarman ($6) and Sertorius at $8.50.
Ryan Maloney will be chasing his first Group One on Sertorius, a horse he has ridden in his past 19 starts, and believes the gelding can run the trip.
“I think he’ll run it, he’s very tough,” Maloney said.
“Obviously there’s a question mark that he will run two miles, but the indications are he will.”