The seven-year-old New Zealand local has travelled to Australia on 11 occasions in the past but until today has been unable to emerge as the winner.
Today’s Group 1 Toorak Handicap win continued the Pentire gelding’s impressive spring preparation, which has seen him win the Group 1 Challenge Stakes first-up and finish second to Jimmy Choux in the Group 1 Windsor Park Plate last start.
King Mufhasa overcame his awkward barrier draw of 11 to hold off a late charge from Peter Moody’s King’s Rose, who finished second, and fast finishing third place-getter Luen Yat Forever.
Trainer Stephen McKee was overjoyed to finally have conquered King Mufhasa’s Australian competition.
“Everything’s gone well today,” McKee said.
“He’s got a good turn of foot.”
McKee is yet to decide on a next race start for King Mufhasa, with the horse’s main spring aim being today’s race.
“Today was the main goal and we’ll have to work things out,” McKee said.
The gelding is not currently nominated for any of the big spring feature races, such as the 2011 Caulfield Cup or 2011 Cox Plate.
Jockey Michael Rodd partnered King Mufhasa to his Toorak Handicap 2011 victory.
“He’s promised a lot coming over here (in the past) and he’s been over here a fair few times,” Rodd said.
“Steve McKee was really confident he was right (this time).”
King Mufhasa overcame an unfavourable start to win today’s $350,000 race.
“He actually slipped at the start and I actually lost a length,” Rodd said.
“He held the comfortably (and) I reckon if they’d have come any closer he would have kicked again.
“(It) shows that he is a class horse and he can run a (good) time.”
King Mufhasa has now won 16 of his 45 race starts and has accrued more than $NZ 2.4 million in prize money.
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2011 Toorak Handicap Results
|1||1||KING MUFHASA (NZ)||Stephen Mckee||Michael Rodd||–||11||58kg||$9|
|2||6||KING’S ROSE (NZ)||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||0.4L||1||54.5kg||$4.80F|
|3||8||LUEN YAT FOREVER||Peter G Moody||Nicholas Hall||0.5L||3||54kg||$6.50|
|4||3||WALL STREET (NZ)||Jeff Lynds||Damien Oliver||2.75L||7||57kg||$21|
|5||4||DAO DAO||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Darren Beadman||2.95L||13||55.5kg||$16|
|6||5||WOORIM||Robert Heathcote||Damian Browne||3.05L||2||55.5kg||$16|
|7||7||YOSEI||Stuart Webb||Ms Michelle Payne||3.55L||10||54.5kg||$31|
|8||13||MAJESTIC MUSIC||Leon Macdonald & Andrew Gluyas||Craig Newitt||3.65L||12||52.5kg||$18|
|9||10||FAST CLIP||Gai Waterhouse||Glyn Schofield||4.15L||9||53kg||$7|
|10||2||TOORAK TOFF||Rick Hore-Lacy||Chris Symons||4.65L||4||58kg||$9.50|
|11||11||LORD PYRUS (NZ)||Judy Mawer||Stephen Baster||5.15L||5||53kg||$101|
|12||12||DREAMAWAY||Dean Binaisse||Kerrin McEvoy||8.4L||8||52.5kg||$20|
|13||9||TORIO’S QUEST||Brett Partelle||Danny Nikolic||9.4L||6||53.5kg||$12|