Trainer Darren Weir is confident rising four-year-old Mahuta will take plenty of benefit from his first-up run in the Group 3 Bletchingly Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
Mahuta was arguably the surprise packet of the 2015 Spring Carnival; storming onto the racing scene via three impressive and dominant black type wins; peaking in the Group 2 Sandown Guineas (1600m) on November 14th.
Having returned to the paddock after failing to fire and fourteenth in the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) on March 5th, Weir told Racing Ahead that the Flying Spur gelding is still ‘burly’, and will take good condition from his run in the Bletchingly Stakes 2016.
“He’s still got a bit to go, he’s still pretty burly looking and his coat is getting there but isn’t quite there,” Weir said.
“He’ll improve a bit on what he does tomorrow I would have thought.
“He’s pretty simple to ride – he takes a position forward so I can’t see why he wouldn’t do that again.
“He’s done enough work to run well and obviously he’s still got a bit to come as well, so he’ll improve off his first two runs. He’s a good horse and they often run well first-up.”
The Bletchingly Stakes field is packed with talent this year and Weir conceded with is a tough task for Mahuta to win first-up.
“I haven’t really had much of a look at the race yet, I’ll have a look tonight but these races are hard to win. If you’re in it, you’re a chance I guess,” he said.
Debuting to racing for second in a Seymour minor over 1100m in September last year, Mahuta progressed to fourth in the Two Tarts Catering Maiden (1200m) before claiming his first race win in the Winning Edge Presentations Maiden (1450m) on October 8th.
Making a successful transition to black type company when taking out the Listed Gothic Stakes (1400m) on Caulfield Cup Day, Mahuta repeated the dose in the Group 3 Carbine Club Stakes (1600m) leading into his impressive Sandown Guineas triumph.
Returning from a freshen-up for a comfortable win in the Gold Coast Magic Millions 3.y.o Guineas (1400m) on January 9th, the gelding out of Vahine continued his winning run of form through the Group 2 Autumn Stakes (1400m) in what was his only other start prior to the Australian Guineas.
Ladbrokes Australia currently rate Mahuta a $3 favourite in 2016 Bletchingly Stakes betting markets.