TRAINER Nigel Blackiston believes he is bringing Littorio at the peak of his powers to take on ”developing horses” in Saturday’s Sydney Cup at Randwick.The Flemington horseman has never doubted his stayer but the 3200-metre trip remains the biggest unknown with the five-year-old.”Although he has only had three wins, he has always been racing in the best company,” Blackiston said. ”He raced in 14 group 1s, won a couple, had four other placings and finished fourth or fifth on a few other occasions.”His whole career has basically been in black type, 21 of 23 starts, and I can honestly say he has never disappointed me. He has improved with every start this time … but I still don’t know about the two miles.”We left the Melbourne Cup a couple of years ago wondering if he stayed and this will tell us if he does. He is at the top of his game but there are some nice developing horses in Jessicabeel and Precedence in the race. However, they are both six to 12 months off being at their top.”Littorio won the Turnbull Stakes in 2008 before a win in The BMW at Rosehill on Golden Slipper day. Craig Williams has elected to stick with him, despite riding Jessicabeel to her Chairman’s Handicap win recently, a further shot of confidence for Blackiston.”It has always been a race-to-race proposition with Craig and he could have got off Littorio if he wanted to after Jessicabeel’s win,” Blackiston said. ”But he is very happy to stay with him. He said [Littorio] was very strong at the end of The BMW and I’m sure he will give him every chance to run the distance right out. I have always thought he would get it but running placings in two derbies does that to you.”Littorio worked at Flemington yesterday morning and was to be floated to Sydney in his bid to join Tie The Knot and Kingston Town in completing The BMW-Sydney Cup double.The Bart Cummings-trained Precedence remains TAB Sportsbet favourite at $7 for a Sydney Cup with many chances. Littorio is on the $8 line and is joined by proven two-milers in Zavite and No Wine No Song, which filled the placings behind him in The BMW.Zavite has won twice at 3200m, in last year’s Adelaide Cup and the Auckland Cup two starts back, while No Wine No Song brings the best form over two miles at Randwick into the race.Jessicabeel is next in betting at $9 but she has proven popular since her win in the Chairman’s.
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