Mufhasa The King

Mufhasa is a marvel and Stephen McKee is a genius.
That was the conclusion I came to after watching the Windsor Park Plate at Hastings last Saturday.
Mufhasa nabbed the tenth Group One victory of his wonderful career with a dominating front running performance.
Bounced out to lead from a wide draw, Mufhasa was under a strangle hold by regular race day rider Sam Spratt.
“He was bolting all the way and I was saying whoa boy down the back straight” said Spratt afterwards.
Mufhasa, who just last week was named NZ Horse of the Year, sprinted clear at the 350m, to win by three quarters of a length from bonny local mare Fleur De Lune.
Third, a further half length away, was Xanadu.
 Mufhasa’s popular majority share holder David Archer, was understandably thrilled with the win.
“Not many horses win ten races in their careers, let alone ten Group One races” said Archer.
Mufhasa resumed racing with a fresh up fourth three weeks ago in the Makfi Challenge Stakes.
“Things didn’t pan out too well for him that day” said Archer.
“He got taken on in front and then Sam (Spratt) lost her whip” explained Archer.
And this is where the genius of Stephen McKee comes in.
McKee managed to get a now eight year old Mufhasa into the shape required to win at racing’s elite level, after the fresh up set back.
Archer was in awe of both his horse and trainer afterwards.
“They are a couple of superstars ” beamed Archer.
McKee, who guided Mufhasa to four Group One victories last season, was his usual modest self after the win.
“I knew he was well and when he came to the turn, you could see Sam had a handful of horse under her” said McKee.
McKee is one of the most astute trainers in the business.
He was instrumental in mapping out the racing programme of champion mare Sunline, and he has done it again with Mufhasa.
The pressure to have horses of this calibre at peak fitness for major races is immense.
These types of horses don’t get the luxury of a couple of lead up races to fit them for Group One races.
They are too good for that.
They are, in effect, a victim of their own success.
So it is imperative a trainer can get them ready away from the race track.
McKee has done this repeatedly throughout his career.
Genius.
 
Fleur De Lune went a marvellous race for her second placing.
The Lee Somervell trained mare racked up her fifth Group One placing and surely deserves a Group One victory.
I thought He’s Remarkable went a terrific race for a close up fifth placing.
The Roger James trained entire is ready to return to winning form.
 
The in form Pike – Donoghue stable produced another winner at Hastings last Saturday.
Carrick justified inspired support with a narrow victory over 2000m.
Ridden by Leith Innes, Carrick swept up to the leaders after rounding the home turn.
“He got to the leaders quickly and then fought really well to the line” said Innes.
Carrick was sensationally backed fresh up at Ellerslie three weeks ago, finishing sixth.
“He is a promising stayer in the making” said co trainer Tony Pike.
“He was always vulnerable fresh up and to win over 2000m against some seasoned campaigners, is a good effort” said Pike.
More will be heard from Carrick this season.
 
Finally……….I will have all the winners from the Cambridge Jockey Club Awards evening, next week.
The popular event will be staged at the Clubhouse Sports Bar this wednesday evening.
After another successful season last year, interest will centre around who will be Horse of the Year.
Sangster, Veyron,  Silent Achiever, Lion Tamer, Say No More and Artistic all won Group One races last season.
 
I’ll catch you next week.
 
Cheers
 
George.