The 2016 Autumn Stakes field has been released and star colts Mahuta, Vanbrugh and Tarzino are all set to do battle in the Group 2 event at Caulfield on Saturday.
Mahuta is yet to record a win at the highest level of racing, but he was one of the revelations of the 2015 Spring Racing Carnival and he has recorded five straight victories ahead of the Autumn Stakes this weekend.
He stamped himself as a horse to follow when he scored a dominant six lengths victory at Kyneton on October 8 and he went on to score tough wins in the Listed Gothic Stakes (1400m), Group 3 Carbine Club Stakes (1600m) and Group 2 Sandown Guineas (1600m) before he made the trip to Queensland to take out the $2 million Magic Millions Guineas (1400m).
Mahuta has been included in the nominations for the 2016 Australian Guineas and he is one of a number of Darren Weir-trained gallopers heading towards the Group 1 event.
Tarzino is also on a path towards the Australian Guineas and trainer Mick Price has elected to keep him to his own age group rather than give him a chance against the older horses in the Group 1 Orr Stakes (1400m).
The Tavistock colt started his spring campaign with two wins from as many starts before he produced the perfect Victoria Derby trials in the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) and the Group 2 Moonee Valley Vase (2040m).
Tarzino was well-backed in the lead-up to the Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) and he outstayed his rivals in emphatic fashion to record a maiden win at the highest level of racing.
The only other Group 1 winner in the Autumn Stakes field is Chris Waller-trained Vanbrugh, who is set to make his Melbourne racing debut this weekend.
Vanbrugh made a very slow start to his 2015 Spring Racing Carnival campaign, but he improved significantly when he was given the chance to step-up in distance and he took out the Group 3 Gloaming Stakes (1800m) at Rosehill Gardens on September 26 before he was too good for his rivals in the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) at Royal Randwick a fortnight later.
The son of Encosta De Lago is set to contest the Australian Guineas before he returns to Sydney for the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) and potentially the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m).
One of the most interesting horses in the Autumn Stakes field is Holler, who is set to have a clear fitness edge over his main rivals in the race.
Holler finished his spring preparation with a dominant win in the Group 3 Red Anchor Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on Cox Plate Day and he upstaged a group of older horses to win the Group 2 Australia Stakes (1200m) at the same venue on January 23.
The 2016 Autumn Stakes field is rounded out by Devil Hawk (barrier five), Extra Choice (barrier six), Celtic Tiger (barrier ten), Rageese (barrier 11), Snoopy (barrier 12), Hardern (barrier three), Solar Impulse (barrier seven) and Sailing By (barrier two).