Atomic Force claimed his second Group 1 title in what some have perhaps correctly called a ‘modest’ Railway Stakes in New Zealand.
Take nothing away from the performance of Atomic Force given he received no favours in the run but it’s fair to say the field lacked a genuine superstar rival.
If he’s to continue on to the Telegraph Handicap at Trentham on January 21st though it will well and truly change with Mufhasa also on track to the $NZ300,000 Group 1.
It’s already being built up as a monster clash across the ditch and why wouldn’t it given Mufhasa has won the race for the past two years.
Atomic Force remains in a paddock at Cambridge where he’ll stay until trainer Darren Smith makes an assessment closer to the race.
He says a final decision will be made next week but if things continue as they are there is no reason the 2011 Galaxy champion won’t go on to contest the Telegraph.
His assignment is huge though, Mufhasa is an eight time Group 1 winner who has enjoyed success on both sides of the ditch.
A regular visitor during the Melbourne spring carnival the horse races in Australia under the name King Mufhasa.
He does have an Aussie Group 1 win to his credit in the form of the Toorak Handicap while he won a Group 1 back home as recently as last start on December 3 in the Captain Cook Stakes.
Atomic Force will be given some reprieve though with an expected 2kg advantage in the weights.
Mufhasa is rated at 111 in New Zealand while Atomic Force’s new years day triumph took him up to 107.
In further good news it seems likely that Nash Rawiller would retain the mount as well given there is no major racing in Sydney on January 21 where he rides as stable jockey for Gai Waterhouse.