Five-year-old Littorio recorded his biggest career victory to date on Saturday when he beat home a classy field of rivals in the $2.25 million Group 1 The BMW (2400m) at Rosehill.
The second richest race at the meeting behind the coveted $3.5million Golden Slipper, the 2010 The BMW saw the Nigel Blackiston-trained Littorio ($17) beat home two other roughies as Zavite ($31) finished just a neck behind the winner after an unlucky run out wide, with No Wine No Song ($26) just a length away in third.
Gai Waterhouse’s warm pre-race favourite Theseo ($3.10) was not too disgraced coming in a close fourth after leading early on, while the second elect at $5.50, the Lee Freedman-trained Speed Gifted was the disappointment of the race beating home just one other runner when finishing well back in 11th.
Littorio’s trainer Blackiston dedicated the victory to part-owner Mark Barrett who is battling with cancer.
The upset victory came as a shock to many, especially after Littorio was still sitting in last position at the turn. The gelding put in a powerful chase, weaving through the pack to take to the front and score a narrow but dedicated win, showing no signs of the hoof infection that plagued his lead-up preparations to The BMW last week.
Littorio, by Bellotto out of Our Centasea, has now claimed victory in just three of his 23 career starts, including two Group 1 victories, and Saturday’s lucrative $1.23 million first prize saw his prizemoney soar to an impressive $2,323,475 – not bad for a $15,000 purchase.
The $400,000 Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) at Randwick on April 24 is next on the agenda for Littorio, where he will face off against many of those he beat on Saturday including the in-form Zavite and 2008 Sydney Cup winner No Wine No Song.
2010 The BMW Results:
|Nigel Blackiston||Craig Williams|
|Anthony Cummings||Damien Oliver|
NO WINE NO SONG
|Kevin Moses||Luke Nolen|
|Gai Waterhouse||Nash Rawiller|
|Kevin Gray||Hugh Bowman|
HARRIS TWEED (NZ)
|M & B Baker||Darren Beadman|
|David Hayes||Brad Rawiller|
|Peter Snowden||Kerrin McEvoy|
|Bart Cummings||Glyn Schofield|
DIVINE REBEL (NZ)
|Michael Moroney||Nicholas Hall|
SPEED GIFTED (GB)
|Lee Freedman||Glen Boss|
ROMAN EMPEROR (NZ)
|Bart Cummings||Michael Rodd|