Darren Weir’s flying colt Mahuta posted his sixth win from as many starts to hold off Mick Price’s classy filly Sailing By in another gutsy all-the-way win in the Autumn Stakes 2016 at Caulfield Racecourse on CF Orr Stakes Day.
The Flying Spur three-year-old hasn’t been defeated since last September enjoying a gun streak of wins that included the Magic Millions 3YO Guineas (1400m) at the Gold Coast on January 9.
He had five weeks between runs backing up into the $200,000 Group 2 Hyland Race Colours Autumn Stakes (1400m) where jockey Brad Rawiller continued his association with last November’s Sandown Guineas winner.
Thriving with the blinkers on again, Mahuta worked for the lead using his rails draw to drive forward early and take up front running in the three-years-old clash.
He held out the favourite Holler as Snoopy settled into third just ahead of Sailing By, while her stablemate VRC Derby winner Tarzino was taken back to last some 10 lengths off the front runner.
Up the side Mahuta held his lead from John O’Shea’s last start Group 2 Australia Stakes (1200m) winning Commands colt Holler, the two side-by-side coming around the turn for home.
Controlling the race, Mahuta was travelling well and got away from Holler who cracked at the bend and failed to finish off.
Fastnet Rock filly Sailing By, racing for the first time since her fourth in the Group 2 Edward Manifold Stakes (1600m) last October, was driving up as Mahuta looked to get tired in the final stages.
By the skin of his neck Rawiller held on with Mahuta ($3.10) who beat home Sailing By ($14) by a nose while the Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes-trained Snoopy ($6.50) finished off the Autumn Stakes trifecta in third.
Price’s returning colt Tarzino ($14) also finished off well getting home in good form ahead of his longer distance targets culminating with a Group 1 ATC Derby (2400m) run in Sydney on April 9.
Full honours went to the Autumn Stakes winner though as Mahuta was revved up a long way from home, Rawiller aware of the smart colt under the saddle.
“He’s just a ripper horse to ride,” Rawiller said after the win.
“I had to push a little bet in the first 50 metres but as soon as I got to the front I felt like I could have done whatever I wanted.
“I knew he was going to be hard to beat.
“He knows where the winning post is this bloke.”
Part-owner Leigh Saville was also impressed by Mahuta’s toughness and said any plans to continue onto Flemington’s $750,000 Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) on March 5 would be guided by how the horse pulled-up and what Weir thought.
“He’s tough as an old boot,” Saville said.
“To keep him going for that long is just amazing.
“We know he’s hard and fit…we’ll see how he pulls up, he looked a bit tired on the line, but we’ll see what Darren says (about an Australian Guineas bid).”
Weir also commented on the tenacity of Mahuta who hadn’t been out of work in the past six months, and hoped that could continue into a Group 1 autumn success.
“The horse has done a great job, he’s a very tough horse,” the Melbourne Cup winning horseman said.
“He makes his own luck by going forward.
“That’ll clean him right up and they’re only three once so we’ll certainly roll the dice (if we can).”
To back Mahuta next race and check out the full 2016 Australian Guineas betting markets head to our preferred online bookmaker Ladbrokes.com.au today!
2016 Autumn Stakes Results & Finishing Order
Caulfield Race 6 – 13/02/2016
|1||1||MAHUTA||Darren Weir||Brad Rawiller||–||1||59kg||$3.20|
|2||12||SAILING BY||Mick Price||Nicholas Hall||0.1L||2||54kg||$14|
|3||9||SNOOPY||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Dwayne Dunn||0.6L||10||56kg||$6.50|
|4||3||TARZINO (NZ)||Mick Price||Craig Newitt||1.35L||6||58kg||$14|
|5||4||HOLLER||John O’Shea||Damien Oliver||2.85L||7||58kg||$2.60F|
|6||10||HARDERN||David Brideoake||Luke Currie||2.95L||3||56kg||$41|
|7||7||CELTIC TIGER (NZ)||Mick Price||Glen Boss||4.45L||8||57kg||$61|
|8||5||DEVIL HAWK||Chris Waller||Douglas Whyte||4.95L||4||57kg||$31|
|9||6||EXTRA CHOICE (NZ)||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Ben Melham||7.7L||5||57kg||$31|
|10||8||RAGEESE||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||James Winks||8.45L||9||56kg||$21|
|–||2||VANBRUGH||Chris Waller||Blake Shinn||–||0||–||–|
|–||11||SOLAR IMPULSE Super Vobis Bonus Scheme||Patrick Payne||Mark Zahra||–||0||–||–|