Dual Group One winner Littorio will make his long awaited return to racing this spring after being sidelined for almost 18 months with a ligament injury.
Littorio, who won the 2010 BMW and 2008 Turnbull Stakes has returned to the Flemington stables of Nigel Blackiston and is currently in light work.
Blackiston confirmed that Littorio was now fully healed after a long period of rehabilitation.
“He is in my stables and has been here for about a month. At this stage he is progressing in the right direction, but until we put pressure on him, trial him or race him, we will not know how it will hold up, but at the moment all is good,” Blackiston said.
Littorio was set for a spring campaign last year however after a trackwork incident he was scratched from the Memsie Stakes and unable to make it back. Blackiston confirmed that he would aim the horse at the Makybe Diva Stakes on September 3. Ironically, Littorio’s last spring campaign (2008) saw him resume in the Makybe Diva Stakes, where he finished third behind Weekend Hussler.
“He started off a spring campaign last year and he went amiss when he was nearly at the races. We are hoping off kicking him off this time in the first week of September, possibly in the Makybe Diva Stakes at Flemington over the mile,” Blackiston said.
“I would say we probably won’t go beyond 2000m with him at this stage. The Mackinnon Stakes is the biggest possibility for a main goal but that is a long way away. With the sort of injury he’s had it will just be a case of taking it one race at a time.
“He is a lovely horse to have around the stables and if he stays he will be more than competitive.”
Littorio has managed just three race wins from 24 starts, however he has managed to secure over $2 million in prize money.
In 2008 when he won the Turnbull Stakes he beat home a field that included Efficient, Pompeii Ruler, Zipping, Weekend Hussler and Maldivian. Then in his 2010 BMW win he was able to defeat proven Group One performers Theseo, Zavite, Roman Emperor and Purple. If he can rediscover that form in the spring he may represent one of the feel good stories of the year.
Last time Littorio was in work he was regularly ridden by Craig Williams. It is unclear whether the two will resume their partnership in the spring.