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 Australian Racing News 
Wednesday, June 28 2017

Five-time Melbourne jockeys' premiership winner Craig Williams has taken the lead in this season's title race with a winning double at Sandown.

Williams is in a battle with apprentice Beau Mertens and put his nose in front courtesy of wins aboard Yogi and Gibbon yesterday while Mertens went winless at the meeting.

The Darren Weir-trained Yogi still appears a work in progress but has now put together back-to-back Sandown wins over 1600 and 1800 metres and Williams is convinced the best is to come.

"Whatever you see now, you'll have a better horse in the spring and I think even more so in the autumn after that," Williams said.

"He's got all the potential to be a really exciting horse.

"He's quite relaxed and casual for the first part of his races, but with the step up in distance he helped me a lot more today.

"When you ask him to go, he just takes a little bit of encouragement to go.

"If he actually helped the jockey and was interested from the start you could expect him to be straight into top grade."

Yogi finished strongly as the $2 favourite in yesterday's OTI Gen X Handicap, a benchmark-70 race, to score by two lengths over The Willybe while Street Spun was another long neck away third.

"I don't think anyone knows where he's going to get to, this horse," the gelding's managing owner, Darren Dance, said.

"He's still a young horse and he's still maturing. If we look after him now, he might look after us later."

Yogi, who began his career in New Zealand, has won four of his 13 starts.

Williams took the premiership lead when Gibbon got home in a close finish to the Hyland EOFY Sale Handicap (1000m).

Posted by: AT 08:48 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
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