Exciting New Zealand-based stayer Puccini has produced a particularly preparation this time in, and has been confirmed by trainer Peter McKay to make his first-up appearance in Australia in this weekend’s Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m).
Greeted in Sydney by particularly wet conditions, McKay told AAP he is not 100% certain of how the talented Encosta De Lago colt will take to the track, having never raced in noticeably soggy conditions, but is very pleased with the condition of his horse post-travel.
“He has never raced on a really wet track so I’m unsure how he will handle it if it keeps raining” McKay said.
“This is new for me. I’ve never travelled a horse to Australia before but I’m happy with how he was when he got off the plane.”
Likely to be included amongst one of the more talented Rosehill Guineas final fields in recent years, McKay said as long as Puccini runs well this weekend, he’ll remain content ahead of the major goal; the Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m) on April 12th.
“The Rosehill Guineas is a very strong field and maybe those horses might be a bit nippy for him” McKay said.
“One thing I know is that my horse can run the distance so when we get to the Derby I’ll have no fears about that.
“But over 2000 metres on Saturday, horses like Shamus Award and Dissident might have it over him.
“As long as he runs well, I’ll be happy. I hope he is in the first three.”
Having already contested 10 races over his current preparation since returning to the track in the Darci Brahma Maiden (1300m) on August 19th, Puccini has arguably been the most impressive horse in his homeland, claiming victories in the Group 2 Great North Guineas (1600m), Group 2 Waikato Guineas (2000m), Group 1 Avondale Guineas (2100m) and Group 1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) last time out on March 1st.
Puccini is currently registering as outright favourite in betting markets for the 2014 Rosehill Guineas this weekend at a quote of $4, ahead of Cox Plate/Australian Guineas champion Shamus Award ($4.60), Dissident ($7) and Cadillac Mountain ($10).
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