Two years ago Gran Sasso was the All-Victorian Sprint Series champion, but this year his participation will depend on how he fares in a beach gallop.
Recovering from bone chips in his knee that required surgery, the six-year-old is currently taking part in his first preparation in the stables of trainer David Jolly.
While he has not made it into the placings in his first two runs back, Jolly is happy with his progress but is waiting to make the decision on whether or not to take Gran Sasso to Melbourne.
“I just want to make sure he is 100 per cent,” Jolly said.
“It has taken a fair bit to get him back to this stage so we don’t want to ruin it now.
“I would prefer not to back him up in a week but he showed a bit of a glimpse last Saturday that he might be getting back to somewhere near his best.
“We’ve entered him this Saturday and while he’s not a definite runner, he’s an open class horse, handy up the straight and likes a bit of sting out the track.”
Gran Sasso finished sixth in his first run since returning from injury, but produced a gallant fourth-place finish last start.
“His first run he knocked up and the second one he was probably a bit stiff not to get the money after he was taken off the track,” Jolly said.
“We needed to see something like that from him as it gave a glimpse there might be a win in him soon.”
Jolly said that if Gran Sasso were to miss this week’s heat for the All-Victorian Sprint Final he would be sent to the Listed Monash Stakes at Caulfield on July 16.