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King Mufhasa to start in the C F Orr
Caryl Williamson
19:05 AEST Wed Feb 6 2013

New Zealand champion King Mufhasa has been confirmed as a starter in Saturday's C F Orr Stakes at Caulfield.

His new trainer Bruce Wallace said the eight-year-old, who was also nominated for the Waikato Sprint at home, also over 1400 metres, would fly to Melbourne on Wednesday night.

Mufhasa, who has his name changed to King Mufhasa when he races in Australia, arrived on Wallace's doorstep unexpectedly less than two weeks ago after his owner David Archer took his horses out of Stephen McKee's nearby stable.

A disagreement over the employment of King Mufhasa's strapper and track rider Amy Doran led to the transfer and Wallace admitted he was still getting to know the 10-time Group One winner who has twice been New Zealand's Horse of the Year.

"He came to us in great order," Wallace said.

"He had three weeks off after his last run and we have kept the work up to him.

"We haven't tried to do anything flash with him.

"We haven't got any history with him and on his trackwork you wouldn't really know. He doesn't do anything spectacular in his work but I've gone back through the videos of his races and it's amazing how on raceday he is a racehorse.

"Amy rides him all the time and has been happy with him."

Wallace is no stranger to winning Group One races in Australia but admits it has been some time with many of his better horses earmarked from an early age for the Asian market.

Inheriting a horse with King Mufhasa's record is a two-edged sword.

"He is eight years old now and we're not going to be able to improve him. It's a matter of keeping him at the level he's at," Wallace said.

"It's no small task to take on a horse with his record.

"I'd love him to win obviously but I'm not sure what to expect.

"He will stay in Melbourne for the Futurity which he won last year and then possibly go to Sydney again."

Wallace won't make the trip to Melbourne as it clashes with his son's engagement party and will leave the care of the horse to his right hand man, former jockey Alan Peard along with Doran who will remain with the horse in Australia.

Michael Rodd rides King Mufhasa on Saturday. Nash Rawiller, who is sidelined with injury, has ridden him to his two Australian Group One victories - the 2011 Toorak Handicap and last year's Futurity.


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