Melbourne Cup winning trainer Darren Weir has declared that his tough three year old Mahuta will carry his current winning form into the Group 1 $750,000 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington on Saturday.
Mahuta is the winner of his last six starts and while Weir said that he hasn’t improved since his last start win in the Group 2 $200,000 Hyland Race Colours Autumn Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on February 13, he hasn’t gone backwards either.
“He’s certainly not on an upward spiral, but he’s holding that form,” Weir told Racing Ahead on RSN.
“He’s a great doing horse, that’s why he can stay up for so long – he cops the work really well.
“He certainly hasn’t gone backwards, he certainly hasn’t improved on his last few runs, but hopefully that’s good enough to have him running well on Saturday.”
Weir has kept the work up to Mahuta even though he has been in training since September last year and started his winning run with a six lengths Kyneton Maiden victory on October 8.
Weir then stepped Mahuta straight up to Listed level with a win in 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 on Derby Day.
The Flying Spur colt then continued on his winning way in the Group 2 $250,000 Sandown Guineas (1600m) at Sandown and then had a short freshened up before heading to the Gold Coast to take out the $2m Magic Millions 3yo Guineas (1400m) at the Gold Coast on January 9.
Following is narrow win in the Autumn Stakes, Weir had intended to run Mahuta in last Saturday’s Group 2 $200,000 Ladbrokes Caulfield Autumn Classic (1800m) at Caulfield, but a change of heart saw him scratch the colt and save him for the Australian Guineas this week.
Mahuta has drawn barrier nine in the sixteen horse Australian Guineas field with Brad Rawiller in the saddle again.
Weir has a strong hand in the Australian Guineas and as well as running Mahuta will also saddle up the former Western Australian trained filly Perfect Reflection and the out of luck Palentino.
Mark Zahra will again ride Palentino who was also out of luck at the barrier draw, coming up with the outside gate, and Ben Melham will be aboard Perfect Reflection who drew close to the inside at two.
Palentino is the most fancied of Weir’s three Australian Guineas runners at Ladbrokes.com.au and has been marked at $7 ahead of Mahuta at $9 and Perfect Reflection at $10.
Australian Guineas market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $3.60 Xtravagant, $7 Palentino, $7.50 Tarzino, $9 Mahuta, $10 Perfect Reflection, $13 Risque, $14 Tivaci, $17 Jameka, $19 Tulsa, $21 River Wild, $26 Vanburgh, Sovereign Nation, $31 Sailing By, $41 Bon Aurum, Ready For Victory, $51 Snoopy.