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Image: Bruno Cannatelli
Craig Widdison is looking over the border with Willi Willi

With the autumn carnivals in Melbourne and Sydney drawing to an end the attention of many trainers switches to the bigger country meetings.

While most Victorians aim at Warrnambool in the first week of May, Wodonga-based Craig Widdison is looking over the border with Willi Willi.

The winner of the 2018 Albury Cup, Willi Willi will be targeted towards the Wagga Wagga Cup on May 3, a day after the Warrnambool Cup.

Willi Willi takes an important step towards the Wagga Wagga Cup in the Manhari Metals Handicap (1600m) at Caulfield on Saturday.

It will be six weeks between starts for Willi Willi after he resumed with a sixth placing on his home track last month.

“He was meant to go around in the Golden Mile at Bendigo (March 30) but didn’t get a run,” Widdison said.

“So we don’t want too much to go wrong between now and the Wagga Cup timing wise.

“I’m happy enough with him and he’ll run well enough this week.”

After Willi Willi won the Albury Cup last year, Widdison had stronger races in mind in the spring.

“If he can get back to the Albury Cup form, that would be ideal,” Widdison said.

“He didn’t come up last prep and the track was a bit shifty first-up and he was left flat-footed when they sprinted,” Widdison said.

“That made the run look a bit ordinary, but I think he’s going better than that.”

Widdison will also be represented by Creativity who will be having her second run for the stable in the Listed Bel Esprit Stakes.

He said Creativity had basically been retired after leaving the stables of Mathew Ellerton and Simon Zahra.

“I was chatting with (owner) Barrie Griffiths one day and he asked if I wanted to give her a try before she goes to stud,” Widdison said.

“It would be good to squeeze a win or two out of her. She’s a lovely mare with a great attitude.”

Last-start Wodonga winner Banger is the third of Widdison’s Caulfield runners and lines up in the L U Simon Builders Handicap.

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