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Long Layoff Energises Littorio

Despite not having raced in 17 months, seven-year old gelding Littorio has come out of nowhere to win the Group 2 Makybe Diva Stakes at Flemington on the weekend. Starting at $41, few people gave the horse any chance with all the buzz about favourite Lights Of Heaven.

Littorio came from the back of the field to run down  Glass Harmonium by half a length, and claim an unlikely victory for traine Nigel Blackiston.

"It's a very, very special day," he said. "The most important thing is how he pulls up tomorrow. If he's clean in the legs, we push on. I think he's a Cox Plate horse."

Littorio spent last summer in hospital with a serious infection and his injuries were expected to be career threatening. But if he pulls up from Saturday's race then he could be in for an exiciting Spring.

Before the race, Lights Of Heaven was favourite for both the Melbourne and Caulfield Cup and second in betting for the Cox Plate behind Whobegotyou. But now he's drifted after finishing fifth.

But trainer Peter Moody isn't throwing in the towel just yet. "I'd be lying if I said I wasn't disappointed that she didn't win, but look, she blew out and peaked on her run. She's still very big so there's a lot of improvement in her".

 Mark Kavanagh up and comer December Draw is now favourite for the Caulfield Cup after a resounding 3.5 length victory on the weekend at Flemington over 2000 metres. But he must win in 2 weeks time to qualify for the big race.

"He's going to meet stronger horses next time, but he's still underdone", Kavanagh said. "He's pretty exciting."