Sertorius is back in work with the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington on March 8 the Jamie Edwards and Bruce Elkington-trained gelding's initial target, reports Racing Victoria.

Given a month in the paddock after his impressive victory in the Group 2 Zipping Classic (2400m) at Caulfield, Edwards said the son of Galileo has thrived during his time off.

“It was quite amazing how well he did in such a short time,” Edwards said. “He went to the paddock so healthy and so well that he just thrived in the four weeks or so that we gave him out.

“We’ve normally given him a really light autumn and plenty of time in the paddock but I was just amazed at the weight in which he put on.

“It’s easily the best that he has ever done in the paddock and you wouldn’t have wanted to have him out any longer because he was doing so well.”

Likely to resume in the Group 1 Sportingbet C.F. Orr Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on February 8, Edwards said the Australian Cup would be the key race in deciding the six-year-old's future plans.

“It seems to the obvious progression for him to go to the Orr Stakes (1400m), then the Peter Young Stakes (1800m) and then go to the Australian Cup (2000m),” he said.

“I suppose at the moment our long term plan would be the BMW (2400m) in Sydney and then potentially the Sydney Cup (3200m).

“We’ll probably go to the Australian Cup and if he doesn’t look like he’s up to that standard of racing we’ll probably pull the pin and then set him for the Spring rather than press on to Sydney.

“He’s been very lightly raced his whole life and we’ve always tried to look after him so if at all we don’t think he’s right we’ll pun the pin and concentrate on the Caulfield (2400m) and Melbourne Cups (3200m) in the Spring.”

Lightly-raced for a six-year-old with only 25 starts under his belt, Edwards said this preparation will be the first time that Sertorius has been trained purely as a stayer.

 “During the Spring last year he was sort of sitting outside the leader in mile (1600m) races and looked like being an on-speed 1600m to 2000m horse where as all he wanted to do this Spring was settle, so we let him and he proved that he can run a trip,” Edwards said.

“He’s always been a highly strung horse. Last year we needed two strappers to walk him around the enclosure where as this Spring he has been very relaxed.

“He had a ripping Spring and if he can back that up it should be his best autumn. You’d think the next 12 months will be his best and this year looks the time to have a crack at some good races with him.”