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Consistent colt Mahuta will kick off his spring campaign in Saturday’s 2016 Bletchingly Stakes as the Darren Weir-trained galloper tracks towards a Group 1 run in the Memsie Stakes.
A rising four-year-old son of Flying Spur, Mahuta was last seen suffering a rare loss when second last (14th) to Palentino at Flemington in the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) back in early March.
That followed a stellar autumn from the $1.68 million earner who strung together six straight victories dating back to October last year.
Best known for his Magic Millions 3YO Guineas victory at the Gold Coast in January, Mahuta’s latest victory was at Caulfield in mid-February in the Group 2 Autumn Stakes (1400m).
He returns to the Caulfield track on Saturday for a first-up run in the $150,000 Group 3 Bletchingly Stakes (1200m) before a scheduled run second-up on August 13 in the $200,000 Group 2 P.B. Lawrence Stakes (1400m).
The season’s record-breaking trainer Weir plans to run Mahuta in elite level class three runs into his Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival campaign targeting the $500,000 Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) on August 27.
Weir has had three previous Memsie Stakes runners to date for two third place efforts, but is hoping to go two better with a win in the weight-for-age clash by his up-and-comer this year.
“He’ll run Saturday and then the PB Lawrence Stakes before the Memsie Stakes,” Weir told Racing Victoria over the weekend.
“The goal is to have him wound up for the Group 1 – he needs to have a couple of runs because he’s a big, heavy horse now.
“The Memsie is the one, and then we’ll pick and choose from there and see where he fits in.”
“He’s come back well, he trialled at Burrumbeet on Monday and looked good.”
Four-year-olds have a dominant Memsie Stakes record in the past decade, the latest of that age group to win being Dissident (2014).
The PB Lawrence Stakes meanwhile hasn’t produced a Memsie Stakes winner since Weekend Hussler (2nd) in 2008.
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