Pre post favourite Mahuta has been scratched from the Group 2 $200,000 Ladbrokes Caulfield Autumn Classic (1800m) at Caulfield today and will run in next week’s Group 1 $750,000 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington.
Trainer Darren Weir reaffirmed that Mahuta was in fine shape and that the large group of owners would like to give the Flying Spur colt a chance of winning a Group 1 race.
Weir had originally intended to take an easier Autumn Carnival path with Mahuta, who took his winning sequence to six with a win in the Group 2 $200,000 Hyland Race Colours Autumn Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on February 13 and had picked out the Group 2 $200,000 Alister Clark Stakes (2040m) at Moonee Valley on March 18 as a suitable assignment.
“I thought he’d be a better chance (in the Autumn Classic) but the owners wanted to run him in the Guineas which is fair enough,” Weir told racing.com.
“The Guineas is obviously a stronger race, I wanted to run him this week and then go to the (Alister Clark) at Moonee Valley.
“The horse is going really well though and should run a good race next week.”
Mahuta is rated an $8 chance for the Australian Guineas at Ladbrokes.com.au, giving Weir a strong hand in the three year old Group 1 with stablemate Palentino on the second line of betting at $5 behind the New Zealand colt Xtravagant at $3.80.
With the scratching of Mahuta from today’s Autumn Classic, the John O’Shea trained Tally now heads the market order at $2.80 ahead of Patch Adams at $7.50, Powderworks at $8 and Flying Light at $8.50.
Tally is an improving three year old and heads to Caulfield on the back of a win in a 1450m Kyneton BenchMark 70 Handicap on January 30 followed by a win in a 1600m BenchMark 70 Handicap at Moonee Valley on February 12.