King may make trip

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - townsville­bul­letin. com. au

A TRACK gal­lop this morn­ing will de­ter­mine whether New Zealan­der King Mufhasa makes the trip to Syd­ney for his third Ge­orge Ry­der Stakes at Rose­hill.

The geld­ing has run third in the Group One Ge­orge Ry­der Stakes ( 1500m) for the past two years.

‘‘ I will make the de­ci­sion af­ter he works in the morn­ing,’’ trainer Stephen McKee said. ‘‘ As it stands I’m pretty happy with him so if I’m still happy af­ter he works he will fly over to­mor­row night.’’

Michael Rodd will ride King Mufhasa in the Ge­orge Ry­der re­plac­ing Sa­man­tha Spratt who has made the trip across the Tas­man for the past two years.

McKee said he was also keep­ing an eye on the weather fore­cast hop­ing the rain in Syd­ney would be gone by the week­end.

‘‘ He is at his best on firmer tracks al­though he has per­formed well in the wet,’’ McKee said.

King Mufhasa’s wet track per­for­mances in­clude both his Ge­orge Ry­der plac­ings be­hind Vi­sion And Power on a heavy track in 2009 and Dan­leigh on slow sur­face last year.

This cam­paign the six-year-old has won two Group One races at home, the Tele­graph Hand­i­cap ( 1200m) and the Waikato Sprint ( 1400m) af­ter which he ran fourth in the Fu­tu­rity Stakes won by More Joy­ous.

‘‘ It’s hard to line New Zealand form up against the Aus­tralians but he beat Wall Street in the Waikato Sprint,’’ McKee said. ‘‘ That is the yard­stick we are us­ing.’’

Wall Street, who won the Group One Emi­rates Stakes at Flem­ing­ton in the spring, is also among the en­tries for the Ge­orge Ry­der which in­clude the past two win­ners.

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