Victorian-trained horses have won five of the past nine runnings of the BMW and trainer Jamie Edwards is hoping to keep the trend going with Sertorius.
The six-year-old is part of a strong southern contingent taking aim at the 2400m weight-for-age Group One at Rosehill on Saturday, bidding to join Manighar (2012), Cedarberg (2011), Littorio (2010), Blutigeroo (2007) and Makybe Diva (2005).
Edwards, who trains in partnership with Bruce Elkington, is convinced Sertorius heads into the $1.5 million race in better shape than he did for the Ranvet Stakes when he battled on well in the straight to finish fifth behind New Zealand mare Silent Achiever.
“He’s in good nick and has improved since the Ranvet,” Edwards said.
“He’ll have a nice solid gallop in the morning on the Geelong course proper and then he’ll head off to Sydney on Wednesday.”
Sertorius is unbeaten in his only two 2400m starts in the Group Two Zipping Classic and Listed Bendigo Cup last spring.
Nigel Blackiston and Pat Carey have won the BMW with Littorio and Cedarberg respectively, and the two trainers each have a runner nominated on Saturday.
Blackiston will saddle up Let’s Make Adeal while Carey has entered Angola for both the BMW and the Neville Sellwood Stakes.
The 2012 Melbourne Cup winner Green Moon, a last-start second to Fiorente in the Australian Cup, is one of two entries for owner Lloyd Williams along with last year’s Sydney Cup winner Mourayan.
Irish import Voleuse De Coeurs will make her Sydney debut on the back of a first-up fifth in the Australian Cup.
The Mike Moroney-trained mare continued her preparations for the BMW with a between-races gallop at Moonee Valley on Saturday and jockey Glen Boss believes she is a genuine top three chance.
The Ranvet Stakes (2000m) on March 22 was billed as a match race between Melbourne and Australian Cup winner Fiorente and last year’s Sydney three-year-old triple crown winner It’s A Dundeel.
But it did not eventuate with high-profile pair upstaged by Silent Achiever who scored a narrow win over Carlton House. It’s A Dundeel finished third and Fiorente seventh.
It’s A Dundeel and Fiorente again headline the 17 nominations for the BMW – one of three Group One races on Golden Slipper day.