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Newitt Booked for Puccini

Wednesday, 23rd September 2015

Melbourne jockey Craig Newitt will ride New Zealand galloper Puccini at Caulfield on Saturday, reports NZ Racing Desk. Puccini has equal top weight of 61.5kg in the 1700m Open Handicap, but trainer Peter McKay has opted to go with a senior rider rather than claim an apprentice allowance. McKay decided to send his dual Gr1 winner to Melbourne following the abandonment of the Hastings meeting last weekend. "He's going over earlier than we had planned, but I couldn't see any other way around it," he said. "At least we will have some options over there." McKay's confidence was buoyed when he partnered the son of Encosta de Lago in a gallop at Matamata on Tuesday morning. "He galloped really nicely and I think we have got him where we want him," he said. Puccini's programme will probably be determined by his performance on Saturday, with options including backing up in the Gr1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) eight days later or coming back to a mile for the Gr1 Toorak Handicap on October 10.

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