Melbourne Cup winning trainer Darren Weir is expecting pre-post favourite Mahuta to strip a much fitter racehorse when he lines up in the Group 2 $200,000 Back To Caulfield P.B. Lawrence Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
Mahuta was having his first run back after finishing fourteenth to stablemate Palentino in Group 1 $750,000 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington on March 5 when a game third to Lord Of The Sky in the Group 3 $150,000 Bletchingly Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on July 30.
The Flying Spur stallion was sent out as the $5.50 second favourite in the Bletchingly Stakes and his followers should stick with him after Weir gave a glowing report for his chances this week.
“I think he will be competitive anyway. He has come on since his first up run, the barrier is good, he will put himself in the race,” Weir told RSN’s Racing Ahead.
Weir has reported that Mahuta definitely needed the run when first up in the Bletchingly Stakes and had pulled up in great condition and his preparation for the weight for P.B. Lawrence Stakes has been topped off with an easy jump out at Casterton on Monday.
“I thought he ran great under the order he was in because he was still big and burly and hadn’t come through in the coat and we were really pleased with the way he went and the way he has pulled up and he has done really well since,” Weir said.
“He had a jump out on Monday as Casterton as well. He didn’t break the clock or anything like that.”
“He just had a bit of a stretch of the legs and he is going to present there in a lot better order than what he was first up anyway.”
“There is still a bit more to come after Saturday obviously and hopefully he can run well.”
Mahuta has been installed the favourite for the P.B. Lawrence Stakes and is currently listed at $4.20 with Ladbrokes.com.au just ahead of the Nigel Blackiston trained Suavito at $4.80.
Both Mahuta and Sauvito have tremendous records over the Caulfield 1400m with Weir’s four year old undefeated from two outings over the course and distance while Blackiston’s dual Group 1 winning mare is a winner four times from seven attempts.
Mahuta strung together six wins since October last year before beating one home in the Australian Guineas and quickly worked his way up through the ranks after winning his maiden at Kyneton.
At his second race start the Darren Weir trained Mahuta won the Listed $120,000 Polytrack Gothic Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield followed by a win in the Group 3 $200,000 Carbine Club Stakes (1600m) at Flemington and a win in the Group 2 $250,000 Sandown Guineas (1600m) at Sandown at the end of the Melbourne Spring Carnival.
Weir then gave Mahuta a short break before heading to the Gold Coast in January to win the $2m Magic Millions 3yo Guineas (1400m) before heading back to Flemington to win Group 2 $200,000 Hyland Race Colours Autumn Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield before running in the Australian Guineas.
Mahuta has drawn barrier five in the fourteen horse field with regular rider Brad Rawiller in the saddle again.
P.B. Lawrence Stakes market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $4.20 Mahuta, $4.80 Suavito, $5.50 Lord Of The Sky, $7.50 Miss Rose De Lago, $9 The Cleaner, $13 Jameka, $20 Jacquinot Bay, Awesome Rock, $26 Smokin’ Joey, Entirely Platinum, $31 Set Square, $41 Tall Ship, $61 Magnapal, $81 Berisha.