King may make trip
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.