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Johnson Booked For Puccini

Friday, 24th July 2015

Danielle Johnson has made an early commitment to ride dual Gr1 winner Puccini in next month's Makfi Challenge Stakes at Hastings, reports NZ Racing Desk. The Cambridge jockey rode the Peter and Jacob McKay-trained Encosta de Lago entire to win the Gr1 Thorndon Mile at Trentham earlier this year and was keen to reprise that role this spring. Peter McKay is pleased with Puccini's build-up to the spring and said the rising 5YO would most likely resume in the Gr1 Makfi Stakes (1400m) on 29 August. "He'll go up to Ruakaka next week for the trial. I had half planned to go to the Foxbridge Plate [at Te Rapa next month] but the track probably won't be good enough for him, whereas Hastings is already a [dead] six, so we'll probably give him a gallop, maybe at Taupo, and then go straight into the Makfi fresh," McKay said. Puccini (Encosta de Lago-Miss Opera, by Paris Opera), a winner of the New Zealand Derby & Thorndon Mile, has not raced since finishing a well beaten 16th in the Gr1 Doncaster Mile at Randwick in April.

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