McKee sets early sights on Makfi with champion sprinter Tue, 03 Jul 2012
Decorated short course performer Mufhasa will attempt to take his Group One tally into double figures when he defends his Makfi Challenge Stakes title at Hastings.
The son of Pentire will kick off his spring campaign in the September 1 feature and has been making excellent progress since re-joining Stephen McKee’s Ardmore stable.
“He’s been back a month and he’s coming along really well,” McKee said. “He might be coming up to eight-years-old, but you’d never know it and he’s as bright as a button.
“Hastings will definitely be his first run back and he might have a gallop between races somewhere before that.”
Mufhasa, who hasn’t raced since he finished a close-up fourth in the Gr.1 George Ryder Stakes at Rosehill in early April, defeated Jimmy Choux when resuming in last year’s Makfi Challenge Stakes. He was also runner-up to Tavistock in the 2009 edition.
Bred by Rich Hill Stud and raced by the Archer family and Diane Wright, Mufhasa has an outstanding record that has been acknowledged with both the New Zealand Horse of the Year and People’s Choice Awards in 2008-09 and champion sprint honours in 2010-11.
He has twice won the Telegraph Handicap and Waikato Sprint, as well as the Otaki-Maori WFA and Captain Cook Stakes. Eighteen wins and 16 placings have taken his stake earnings beyond $3.1 million.
Earlier this season Mufhasa also broke through at the highest level in Australia with victory in the Toorak Handicap, at the expense of King’s Rose, at Caulfield in the spring. He then returned to Melbourne in the summer to defeat the ill-fated Cox Plate winner Pinker Pinker in the Futurity Stakes, also at Caulfield.