Star-studded noms for Orr
Melbourne Cup winners Shocking and Viewed headline a star-studded list of nominations for Saturday’s CF Orr Stakes at Flemington.
The 1400 metre race has attracted 20 entries including nine individual Group One winners and another six who have been placed at the highest level.
Crack colt Denman, Underwood Stakes winner Heart Of Dreams and outstanding mare Typhoon Tracy are among the Orr entries.
Viewed, winner of the 2008 Melbourne Cup, is one of three nominations from Bart Cummings along with 2008 Australian Cup winner Sirmione and Moatize who are both on the comeback trail from injury.
Littorio is also returning from 10 months on the sidelines and has raced just once since his unplaced run in the 2008 Melbourne Cup.
Trainer Nigel Blackiston said the five-year-old had to be given an extended break after he was found to be suffering from bone soreness, the same affliction which led to the retirement of Nom Du Jeu last spring.
“It was like trying to find the invisible man, it’s not a condition you can just see and act on,” Blackiston said.
“He just needed time.
“But really, until he gets over 2000 metres we’re not really going to know if he’s come back.”
Littorio has been in work for more than three months and while he has a handy first-up record, Blackiston isn’t expecting a winning return after so long off the scene.
“I don’t expect him to be winning or probably running in the first three but it would be nice to see him working to the line,” he said.
Littorio won the Turnbull Stakes in the spring of 2008 and was among the favourites for that year’s Melbourne Cup before his form tapered off and the bone soreness issue was discovered.
Craig Williams will ride him on Saturday and all going well, Blackiston is hoping to get the gelding to the Australian Cup in March ahead of a Sydney campaign aimed at the BMW.
The Hawkes training team has nominated O’Lonrho for the Orr but the Chelmsford Stakes winner is also down to barrier trial at Rosehill on Tuesday.
Michael Hawkes, speaking from the Karaka sales in New Zealand, said they were yet to decide whether O’Lonhro would take his place in the Group One.
“We don’t know yet. With the sales on we haven’t had a chance to have a good look at the noms,” Hawkes said.
Hawkes did confirm O’Lonhro had pleased the stable since his unplaced effort in the Magic Millions Cup at the Gold Coast.
“It was just the track there was too tight for him, he’s a big horse,” Hawkes said.
“But you live and learn and he’s come through it fine. He’s as good as gold.”
Evergreen gelding Zipping will attempt to snare an elusive Group One at his 14th attempt while his younger half-brother by four years, the unbeaten Work The Room, has also been thrown in the mix for the Orr.
By Mandy Cottell