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Mufhasa's Australian win great boost for Pentire and Rich Hill

On the day that (King ) Mufhasa (Pentire[GB] – Sheila Cheval) finally showed the Australian racing public that he was capable of winning at group one level in their back yard, his mother back at Rich Hill Stud in Matamata had another date in the breeding barn with Pentire.

Even though Mufhasa has been crowned Horse of the Year (2009) and Champion Sprinter (2011) and had won at group one level six times in New Zealand, group one glory had eluded him in Australia. He recently laid that ghost to rest by easily winning the group one Toorak Handicap at Caulfield.

"It's a huge result. He's been trying to win a group one on his last three visits to Australia and he needed that black type win in Australia to frank his form as a true group one winner," said Mike Rennie, the communications manager of Rich Hill Stud.

"We knew he was up to it, his first two runs this campaign have been excellent, and going to Melbourne in the spring for his third run up as opposed to the autumn at the end of his preparation seems to have made all the difference.

"It's a great boost for the stallion and a great result for Rich Hill. Sheila Cheval (Mi Preferido [USA] –Silver Sheila) has been a good producer for John Thompson the proprietor of Rich Hill and his father Colin, and this year she presented us with a lovely Zabeel colt. Let's hope with this latest mating with Pentire she can produce a filly."

Sheila Cheval is the dam of nine foals, including the winners Belle Joie (Mellifont[USA]), Bert (Bertolini[USA]), Mogano (Slavic[USA]), and Keepa Cheval (Keeper[AUS]). She has also produced Rafhiki, a four-year-old full brother to Mufhasa, who has had three starts to date from the McKee stable, the same stable as his older brother. He is also ownerd by David, Simon and Natalie Archer and Diane Wright, the owners of Mufhasa.

They also own Belle Joie, a winner of six races through their breeding portfolio Archer Equine Investments and she will be represented at the Premier sale this year with a Pentire colt in the Rich Hill draft.

Sheila Cheval also has a three-year-old colt by Perfectly Ready in work in Hong Kong and the Thompsons have retained a two-year-old filly by Zabeel. She missed in 2009 so doesn't have a yearling to sell this year.

However Rich Hill do have a nice draft of Pentire yearlings going to Karaka, joining the Belle Joie colt will be a brother to the recent listed Kalgoorlie Cup winner Kincaple (ex Kincaple Lass), a half brother to the Karaka Millions winner Sister Havana (ex Ultima Vita), a three quarter brother to He's Remarkable (ex Arletty), a brother to the multiple group one placed Resolution (ex Amritsar Jet) and a three-quarter sister to the dual group one winner Zarita.

At Karaka last January Pentire's yearlings sold well averaging over $180,000 and with three-quarters of them going to Australia. That's not surprising when you consider that of his ten individual group one winners five of them (Zarita, Rangirangdoo, Pantani, Markus Maimus and Art Success) gained that status in Australia, – of the other five Mufhasa, Xcellent, Recurring, Pentane and Penny Gem, three have performed with merit in Australia. In total he has sired a total of 29 stakes winners to date including elite sprinters, four derby winners and four winners over 3200 metres.

Although he is very much the senior statesman stallion at Rich Hill, Pentire still attracts a good solid book of mares. A dual group one winning European champion racehorse, Pentire retired to stud here and in Japan in 1997. He shuttled back to Japan until the 2004 Northern Hemisphere season where he went to Germany instead. Following his return from Germany in the 2005 season he ceased to shuttle and has remained at Rich Hill.

"This year the dam of Zarita, Gin Player (Defensive Play[USA] – Gin Rhythm), will be visiting him along with her daughter Gin City (by Herocity [AUS]), and the dam of He's Remarkable – Axiom (Zabeel – Arletty). We have had pretty solid support from Australia for him this year as well.

"Last season was his best ever. He served 140 mares, and although we may not match that number this season, every day in the last couple of weeks we have had a lot of enquiries for him. On the whole we have found that a number of breeders are concentrating on their better mares and spending their budget on a good proven horse like Pentire," he concluded.

Pentire currently leads the Dewar Award (combined earnings in Australia and New Zealand) and is in second place on the New Zealand sires premiership.


- Michelle Saba