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The Stephen McKee trained Mufhasa (NZ) secured his ninth Group 1 victory in Saturday's A$500,000 Group 1 Futurity Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield.
The son of Pentire was expected to meet exceptional mare Black Caviar in the race however with the change to her schedule Mufhasa (Pentire x Sheila Cheval) was able to dominate the weight-for-age feature.
Ridden by Nash Rawiller the seven-year-old claimed the lead after 100m and was unchallenged to the turn. Quickening up strongly into the straight Mufhasa crossed the line with one-and-a-quarter lengths to spare over Pinker Pinker with the three-year-old New Zealand Bloodstock graduate Adamantium (Elusive City) staying on gamely for third. [picture: Mufhasa Futurity Stakes]
Mufhasa galloping to his ninth Group 1 victory in the Futurity Stakes
Mufhasa has enjoyed outstanding form this season with his seven starts bringing four wins and three seconds. Fresh-up he was simply too sharp in the Group 1 Makfi Challenge Stakes at Hawke's Bay beating Jimmy Choux (Thorn Park).
The Group 1 Windsor Park Plate saw the tables turned with Mufhasa running a brave second to Jimmy Choux. However, it was his next start in Australia that saw the seven-year-old stamp himself as a leading sprinter-miler in Australasia when winning the Group 1 Toorak Handicap, followed by the Group 1 WRC Captain Cook Stakes two months later.
With a goal set for Mufhasa to win ten Group 1 races, McKee will be satisfied that the champion is now well on his way with nine wins at the elite level. His connections will now have to decide where he will line up next to chase his tenth Group 1 victory.
"Without Black Caviar here and a few other horses, it made it a lot easier" commented Stephen McKee.
"He has always run at Group I level for the best part of his career so it was good to see him get another one."
"We might look at the George Ryder (Stakes) again or the All-Aged (Stakes) or both," McKee said. "We'll see how he takes the heat and the trip home."
A graduate of New Zealand Bloodstock's 2006 Karaka Select Sale, Mufhasa was bought by David Archer from Rich Hill Stud for $50,000. Bred by Colin and John Thompson, the son of Pentire has now taken his overall record to 18 wins, 6 seconds and 5 thirds from 49 starts for earnings of over $3 million.
Black Type Success for Hanks
The Peter Moody trained Hanks secured his second black type victory on Friday night in the A$150,000 Listed Moonee Valley Night Cup (2500m).
Off the back of a last-start win at Moonee Valley earlier in the month Hanks (Encosta De Lago x Sister Fromseattle) raced under a big weight of 58.5kg. Ridden by Luke Nolen from barrier one Hanks raced on the pace before pulling clear in the straight to win by a length and a quarter from Rowland (Lonhro), with fellow Karaka graduate Montgomery (NZ) (Montjeu x All Zalute) a length and a half back for third.
The son of Encosta De Lago's previous black type win also came at Moonee Valley when in 2009 he devoured his opposition in the Group 2 AAMI Vase (2040m) as a three-year-old. Hanks now has a record of five wins from 20 starts with stakes earnings in excess of $400,000.
Moody purchased the well-bred youngster at the Karaka Premier Sale in 2008 from the draft of Curraghmore Stud for $150,000.
Entry forms are now available for New Zealand Bloodstock's 2012 National Weanling, Broodmare and Mixed Bloodstock Sale on 7 - 9 May at Karaka. To order your Entry Form please email firstname.lastname@example.org