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Another Group 1 for Pentire gelding Mufhasa

NEW ZEALAND champion Mufhasa had failed on fourprevious excursions to Australia but trainer Stephen McKee felt his current form warranted another trip across the Tasman.

Mufhasa, a seven-year-old son of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes winner Pentire, repaid that faith with an on-pace victory in the Group 1 Toorak Handicap at Caulfield on Saturday.

“He's in top form at the moment and hopefully it will hold for awhile longer," McKee said. "He's a class horse and deserved a Group 1 in Australia."

Pentire

Pentire: son Mufhasa won in Oz

  PICTURE: Mirror Pix  

The 2009 New Zealand Horse of the Year has been superb this season, winning the G1 Makfi Challenge first-up before a game second to Jimmy Choux in the G1 Windsor Park Plate.

On his most recent visit to Australia, Mufhasa finished a close fourth to 2010 Toorak winner More Joyous in the Group 1 Futurity Stakes at Caulfield in February. He had finished midfield in the 2009 Toorak won by Allez Wonder.

He was bred by Rich Hill Stud's John and Colin Thompson and was purchased at the 2006 NZB Select Sale for NZ$50,000 by David, Simon and Natalie Archer along David's partner Diane Wright.

King Mufhasa is one of a half-dozen Group 1 winners by Rich Hill sire Pentire. His dam Sheila Cheval has a 2yo Zabeel filly named Shaheen.

“I'm seriously thinking of starting him in the Cox Plate," McKee explained. “He's essentially a sprinter-miler but might be weighted out of a race like the Emirates Stakes."

McKee and his father Trevor won two Cox Plates with Sunline and this year marks the tenth anniversary of her attempt to emulate Kingston Town.

The mighty mare was narrowly beaten by arch-rival Northerly in a hair-raising finish to the 2001 Cox Plate.

McKee would love to make it three but connections will have to pay a A$130,000 late entry fee for Mufhasa to start in the Cox Plate.

 

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