Trainer Jamie Edwards was hoping for a good barrier draw in the Group One Turnbull Stakes at Flemington on Saturday.
After drawing wide gates in the first two runs of his campaign geared towards the Caulfield Cup, Edwards was hopeful of an inside draw and a positive ride in the 2000-metre contest.
But Edwards has struck out again with Sertorius drawing barrier 16 of 19 Turnbull acceptors.
While bemoaning the poor draw, Edwards said the seven-year-old was going into the Turnbull in excellent shape after finishing sixth to Dissident in the Memsie Stakes and seventh to the same galloper in the Makybe Diva Stakes.
“Three starts this time in and he’s drawn an outside gate,” Edwards said. “Hopefully the barrier gods will favour us when we get to the Caulfield Cup.
“Both his first-up and second-ups runs were great over unsuitable distances, racing against high-class horses at their pet distances and we were only a couple of lengths behind them.
“We’re really happy with him. We are coming to a distance now that will suit.
“It would have been lovely to have drawn a half-decent gate and push forward and be fifth or sixth, but barrier 16 is just a lottery.
“However he comes out of the gates and however the race is run is where we’ll be.”
Edwards said the Caulfield Cup was the main target for Sertorius with the Melbourne Cup to be considered after Caulfield.
“It’s more than likely he’ll go to both Cups,” Edwards said.
“His best form is fourth-up, over 2400 metres, and that’s exactly where he’s targeted (Caulfield).
“His first two runs were great. I expect him to run well on Saturday and be primed for the Caulfield Cup and if he runs well you’ve got the Melbourne Cup.
“He’s had one run at two miles before, running third in a Sydney Cup, so it has to be given thought.”
Sertorius is a $31 chance for the Caulfield Cup and $51 in Melbourne Cup betting.