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Willi Willi will be tested at 2000m for the first time on Saturday's Caulfield meeting

One of the premier country Cups in NSW is the autumn target for Wodonga-trained Willi Willi who will first chase another Melbourne win.

The Craig Widdison-trained Willi Willi will be tested at 2000m for the first time in Saturday’s Mal Seccull Handicap at Caulfield after handling his first test over 1800m to win at Flemington in the same benchmark-84 grade last start.

“It’s a trip I’ve always thought he would get and it’s not a big step up from the 1800 last time anyway,” Widdison said.

“I’m pretty confident that should hold no fears for him and he’s come though his last-start win really well. I can’t fault him.”

Willi Willi has won four of his nine starts, including three in Melbourne, and Widdison is aiming him at the $180,000 Albury Cup (2000m) as his target this campaign.

“I’m pretty sure all being well, we’ll head to the Albury Cup on March 23,” he said.

“It’s a Listed race and worth pretty good money. Exactly how we get there, I’m not sure yet. I’ll probably just space his next two runs.”

Widdison is confident of another good showing from Willi Willi on Saturday.

“I don’t think this looks too much different to the race last start and he’s in great order,” Widdison said.

Willi Willi was on the second line of betting at $3.30 on Thursday behind the Anthony Freedman-trained Bedford ($2.25) who steps up in grade after thumping his rivals by six lengths in benchmark-70 grade over the course and distance on January 17.

Freedman’s son and assistant trainer, Sam Freedman, said the four-year-old appeared as well as he was going into his last start.

“So we can’t see why he won’t run a big race again,” he said.

He believes barrier eight in the field of 10 will suit Bedford’s style, allowing him to settle off the pace before making his finishing run.

“f he can win again then we’ll keep raising the bar,” he said.

 
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