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Castelvecchio
Image: Steve Hart

The Rosehill debut of well-bred filly Centro Storico represents the beginning of a new dawn for trainer Richard Litt, but Morton’s Fork sums up everything his stable has been built on.

Litt relied on tried horses like Morton’s Fork to lay the foundations of his business as he carved a niche in the competitive Sydney market.

Then along came star colt and Cox Plate runner-up Castelvecchio, a dual Group One winner subsequently purchased for a tidy amount by Arrowfield Stud, which now stands him as a stallion.

Castelvecchio was the horse every young trainer dreams of getting and he changed the trajectory of Litt’s life .

He also allowed owners the Galletta family to invest more money into racing with the purchase of Clarry Conners’ Victory Lodge stables at Warwick Farm and some superbly-bred yearlings.

“It has been a complete turnaround the last couple of years,” Litt said.

“We’ve got a new property, we’ve got some well-bred horses, we’ve got some new owners from all around the world – Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand.

“It’s a massive opportunity.”

Among the Galletta’s yearling purchases was Centro Storico, a $410,000 Snitzel filly who has trialled well ahead of her debut at Rosehill.

While Castelvecchio was never much of a trackworker, Centro Storico has been an ultimate professional.

“Castelvecchio never showed much at home, he always kept his cards close to his chest. He was definitely a game day horse,” Litt said.

“She is the opposite. She works well, she is very professional, she never does much wrong. She’s a ready-made racehorse really.

“She seems to be straightforward in her own way but also has a little bit of wow factor about her.”

If Centro Storico can win at Rosehill, Litt will consider a Magic Millions tilt at the Gold Coast in January but stresses that will hinge on how the filly stands up to her first racing campaign.

Morton’s Fork, a 51-start veteran, has already proven his durability and will bid to add to his tally of seven career-wins in the Listed ATC Cup (2000m).

His ultimate goal is next month’s Christmas Cup, which he won last year.

“His fitness is improving all the time. He does like the firm tracks so we expect him to run really well with the aim that the Christmas Cup is his grand final,” Litt said.

“He’s an old warrior and he’s going as well as he ever has.”

Mr Marathon Man is a more recent acquisition and will tackle the Group Three Festival Stakes (1500m).

Litt saw enough merit in his last-start effort under a big weight at Newcastle to anticipate an improved showing.

“He’s a work in progress. He came with a few tricks and he’s taken a lot of working out but we seem to have him on track.”

 
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