They may be the long-shot chance for the Winterbottom Stakes 2011 at Ascot this Saturday, but the odds on Elliotto ever racing again were equally as long when the veteran sprinter suffered a near fatal injury in September.
Neville Parnham’s Easy Rocking seven-year-old severely injured their near foreleg in an accident at trackwork, severing an artery and nearly losing their life.
“There were pools and pools of blood and the cut was about a centimeter from being potentially fatal,” Parnham said.
“It was a pretty severe injury but the vets did a great job.”
Elliotto defied the odds, however, and having made a remarkable recovery will resume racing in the $500,000 Group 1 Burswood Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) on Railway Stakes Day this weekend.
A winner of nine of their 36 starts to date, Elliotto ran a disappointing 11th in last year’s Winterbottom Stakes beaten over six lengths by Hadabeclorka.
This, and the fact they haven’t won a race since the RJ Peters Stakes back in November of 2009, have seen Elliotto installed as the $81 roughie of the Winterbottom Stakes odds at Luxbet.
Still, Parnham knows it took a lot of guts from the horse to come back from such a nasty injury and that they deserve their chance.
“He’s worked through the injury and now you wouldn’t even know it – he’s come back superbly,” Parnham said.
“He’ll run a really cheeky race.”
Last seen finishing a close third to Idyllic Prince and Playing God in the Listed Goodwood Sprint (1300m) at Belmont Park back in August, Elliotto will get the inside running from gate one on Saturday with Brad Parnham in the mount.
“He went super behind Idyllic Prince before the injury,” Parnham said.
They showed they were back on track for a competitive return when beating home Winterbottom Stakes rival Elusive Touch ($21 Luxbet) in a Belmont Park trial over 2000 metres earlier this month.
Elliotto also worked well in a gallop at Ascot with stablemate Dempsey, who races in the $80,000 Listed Carbine Club of WA Stakes (1400m) on Saturday, at Tuesday’s Breakfast with the Stars.
“He trialled really good the other day and worked superbly (on Tuesday),” Parnham said.
Clear favourite for the Winterbottom Stakes this year is 2009 winner Ortensia at a quote of $2.20 through Luxbet.
Due to be ridden by champion hoop Craig Williams, aboard for her 2009 Winterbottom Stakes success, drawn ideally in gate two and coming off a last-start win Ortensia is the definite form pick of the race.
Other gallopers at single-figures in the Winterbottom Stakes markets at Luxbet include the Peter Snowden-trained Sydney sprinter Rarefied ($6.50) and Fred Kersley’s in-form local six-year-old Grand Nirvana ($8).
Check out the complete Winterbottom Stakes betting odds and options, as well as those for the day’s other Group 1 feature the Railway Stakes, open now at Luxbet.