Littorio is now set on a Cox Plate quest after his thrilling win in the Makybe Diva Stakes at Flemington last weekend.
It was the first start in 16 months for the seven-year-old gelding, who injured his suspensory ligament during the Group 1 Sydney Cup last year.
“I was really pleased with the way he came back,” trainer Nigel Blackiston said.
“He looked super.”
Littorio has spent the past 16 months confined to his stables due to the ligament strain and a bone chip in his fetlock.
“The only time he’s left the stable complex is he had two and a half weeks at the vets…and he had two and a half weeks in the paddock,” Blackiston.
“About a week before the Memsie last year he did a suspensory ligament…and he had a bone chip in the fetlock”
“He had the bone chip removed and stem cells injected into the suspensory.
“We’re a small stable and we can put the time into it.”
Blackiston is now looking towards the $350,000 Underwood Stakes for the talented Littorio, who is pinned to be one of the big spring players in Melbourne.
“He pulled up extremely well and this stage we are heading towards the Underwood Stakes in two weeks’ time,” he said.
“He’s always met the best company.
“I thought he was the best horse in the field.
“He’s always on a mission, he’s always going somewhere.”
While the $3 million Cox Plate will be Littorio’s main mission of the spring, his trainer has also nominated him for both the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups.
“We put nominations in for the cups but obviously just wait and see how we go,” Blackiston said.
Littorio was purchased from the 2006 William Inglis and Son Premier Yearling Sales for just $15,000 and has now accumulated close to $2.5 million in prize money.