Littorio proved he is a survivor of the first order with a comeback victory in the G2 Makybe Diva Stakes at Flemington on Saturday.
So is his sire Bellotto. The Mr Prospector stallion is 28 and, although in semi-retirement, will cover after a small book of mares at Rivers End Stud in South Australia this spring.
Littorio (7g Bellotto – Our Centasea by Centaine) had been sidelined since the 2010 Sydney Cup but he blew away the cobwebs with a last-to-first victory at Flemington. “What a return – unbelievable,” trainer Nigel Blackiston said. “Obviously, everyone knows he’s had problems but he could be a Cox Plate horse!”
Littorio knows how to lift for the big occasion. Besides a Sale maiden victory on debut in May 2007, his only other wins before Saturday were G1 triumphs in 2008 Turnbull Stakes and 2010 BMW!
He was a $15,000 buy at the 2006 Inglis Melbourne Premier yearling sale and has now earned over $2.50 million.
Littorio’s dam Our Centasea is a winning sister to G3 Avondale Classic winner Centainette and a half-sister to G1 VRC Nissan Stakes winner Seascay (Maizcay).
Littorio is the best of six G1 winners sired by Bellotto who started his stud career in the Hunter Valley way back in 1989.
“Bellotto is in tremendous shape for a horse of his age,” Rivers End manager Steve Bois said in a recent interview with Thoroughbred Express. “If all goes well, he could serve a half-dozen mares this spring.”
Bellotto has sired the winners of around 1900 races at a remarkable 70% strike-rate.
Among his 45 stakes winners is Woodlands homebred Clang. His G1 winning son Clangalang is also based at Rivers End alongside Akhadan (Danehill), Devaraja (Sir Tristram), Kurt (Dolphin Street) and Universal Prince (Scenic).
Rivers End Stud stands on the old Lakewood Stud site. It’s situated at the mouth of the Murray River in South Australia.