A favourable weather report and a good track for Saturday’s bumper Golden Slipper Day at Rosehill has boosted the hopes of Kiwi trainer Stephen Mckee for his prolific Group 1 performer King Mufhasa.
King Mufhasa is lining up for his fourth attempt at the Group 1 $400,000 Daily Telegraph George Ryder Stakes (1500m) and a win in the weight for age race would take his Group 1 tally to double figures.
The Pentire seven year old scored his second Group 1 win on Australian soil and his ninth overall when he lead all of the way beating Cox Plate winner Pinker Pinker in the Group 1 $500,000 Cathay Pacific Futurity Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on February 25.
With the prospect of a good racing surface at Rosehill, Mckee knows that King Mufhasa will get every chance to produce his best against a top class field and possibly his last appearance in Sydney.
“I’d like to see him go out on a winning note in Sydney because this autumn may be the last time he races there,” McKee said.
“I’m hoping the weather holds. He ran third on the heavy the first time but it’s not what he likes.”
“He is fit and well and has shown that.”
“I’m glad he finally got the chance to show Australia how good he is.”
The closet King Mufhasa has got in his four attempts in the George Ryder was third to Vision And Power in 2009 on a heavy track, followed by a third to Danleigh in 2010 on the slow while last year he put in his worst performance when tenth to Rangirangdoo.
Top Sydney jockey Nash Rawiller has stuck with King Mufhasa after rating him perfectly at Caulfield last start but won’t get as easy a run in front with the Gai Waterhouse trained Niagara likely to put pressure on after leading all the way for Tommy Berry in winning the Group 2 $175,000 Hyland Race Colours Ajax Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill last week.
Three year old Niagara heads the betting list at $5.50 with King Mufhasa in second spot at $6.50 just ahead of the Hawkes trained Love Conquer All at $7.