Race 3: Antler Luggage Handicap (2000m)
3 SERTORIUS $3.00, $1.30 (Victorian TAB)
Jockey: Ryan Maloney. Trainer: Edwards/Elkington.
4 HOYLONNY $1.50
Jockey: Jim Cassidy. Trainer: Chris Waller.
1 TURNITUP $3.10
Jockey: Corey Brown. Trainer: Peter Moody.
1.40pm - Michael Lynch reports: Not many horses can win two races in a row, never mind five - especially if they have to handle continual class rises and bigger weights.
But that's exactly what one of the most progressive gallopers in Victoria, Sertorius, managed to do at Flemington on Saturday, leading all the way in the 2000 metre Antler Luggage Handicap and kicking clear when challenged to score a strong win in the $100,000 race in the hands of country rider Ryan Maloney.
The win by the $3.30 favourite was also a tribute to the training prowess of the Freshwater Creek (near Geelong) based training partnership of Jamie Edwards and Bruce Elkington.
Sertorius scored by a length and a half from his market rival, the Sydney raider Hoylonny ($3.50) with the Peter Moody prepared Turnitup ($15) third.
The winner is now likely to back upin the Ballarat Cup over 2200 metres a fortnight on Sunday.
The son of Galileo has come a long way this preparation, which began in late September in a lowly event at Ararat. Edwards has stuck fast with Maloney when the temptation might have been to go for a bigger name jockey at carnival time in the city, saying that he has every confidence in the rider.
''Ryan rides most of our horses in the country and I have a great working relationship with him. If I ring him and say Ryan I need you to come and gallop the horses the next morning there's never a problem.
''He knows how we want all the horses ridden so there's no issue. I have complete confidence in what he's going to do whenever I leg him on,'' said Edwards, who knows what a good horse looks and feels like having trained Lazer Sharp to win the VRC St Leger and SA Derby in 2007.
1.07pm - Andrew Eddy reports: Racing Victoria stewards have withdrawn the Ricky Maund-trained Timely Truce from the listed Hilton Hotel Stakes following a Saturday morning raid by stewards on the trainer's stables. Stewards from RV's Compliance Assurance Team reported to chief steward Terry Bailey that they found puncture marks on the neck of Timely Truce, which they believed to be "fresh". Read more HERE.
Race 2: Momentum Energy Trophy (1600m)
8 GOOD VALUE $11.30, $3.00 (Victorian TAB)
Jockey: Michael Walker. Trainer: John Hickmott.
3 GALAH $1.30
Jockey: Kerrin McEvoy. Trainer: Peter Snowden
1 STRIKE THE STARS $2.90
Jockey: V Duric. Trainer: Anthony Cummings
12.50pm - Michael Lynch reports:Luke Nolen's misfortune became Michael Walker's advantage when the champion jockey's unavailability through suspension gave the former New Zealand star rider the chance to climb aboard Mick Kent's six-year-old Good Value in the Momentum Energy Trophy.
Walker seized the chance with both hands and booted the son of Face Value home at $14, his late run just gunning down the Darley representative and favourite Galah ($3.20) by a short half head with top weight Strike the Stars, from the Anthony Cummings stable, a length and a quarter back in third place.
While the lightly raced gelding (this was only his 16th start) could front up at Sandown next weekend, Good Value is more likely to be saved for a hit and run raid on Sydney, where the the 1600 metre Group 2 Villiers Handicap, one of the traditional summer features, could be his target.
"He just had problems with his knees, so he would loom and not finish in some of his earlier races, but he hit the line well today," Cranbourne-based Kent, who was saddling up his first winner of the Flemington carnival, said.
"He's not a bad horse. He should have won a Winter championship. I really rated him, he was just floating away and leaning in his races, we found a problem with his knee and cleaned him up. I think he's a listed race quality horse and I reckon he will get 10 furlongs (2000m).
"Michael won on the horse last start. He should have won first up, was unlucky second up and has won his last two ... he's been a bit maligned because he's run so many places."
12.30pm - AAP reports: Trainer Robbie Laing has maintained his impressive strike rate in early-season juvenile races with the win of Direct Charge in the Group 3 Maribyrnong Plate (1000m) at Flemington.
The most experienced runner in the field, Direct Charge ($18) fought off two challenges, finally outlasting the equal favourite Crack A Roadie ($4.20) to score by a half-head.
‘‘I’ve won a two-year-old race at the Melbourne Cup carnival for three of the past four years,’’ Laing said.
‘‘Not bad for a jumps trainer."
Direct Charge had been just behind the placegetters at his first two starts and showed great speed down the straight course to lead almost every step of the way.