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Williams Eyeing Puccini Ride

Friday, 15th August 2014

Australian jockey Craig Williams is keeping a close eye on last season's star Kiwi 3YO Puccini (Encosta de Lago-Miss Opera, by Paris Opera) ahead of the spring carnival, reports NZ Racing Desk. Williams was in touch this week with Matamata trainer Peter McKay to get an update on the progress of the Encosta de Lago 4YO that he rode into fifth placing in last season's Gr1 Australian Derby. "I got a bit of a surprise it was Craig on the other end of the line," McKay told The Informant. "I was reading how he had ridden in a jockeys' series in England last weekend but he's obviously back and doing his homework for the carnival." Puccini, who is entered for the WS Cox Plate at Moonee Valley on 25 October, will gallop between races at Te Rapa on Saturday before a likely first-up run in an open 1200m race at Ruakaka on 30 August. Puccini was named Ellerslie Horse of the Year last season after a stellar year that yielded victories in the Gr1 New Zealand Derby, Gr2 Waikato Guineas, Gr2 Great Northern Guineas, and Gr2 Avondale Guineas.

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