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New Zealand champion Mufhasa has been removed from trainer Stephen McKee following a dispute involving his strapper.

Owner David Archer took the the 10-time Group One winner out of the stable and transferred him to Bruce Wallace where Amy Doran, who left McKee’s employ earlier this month, will look after him.

Two other horses have also gone to Wallace who is a near neighbour of McKee in south east Auckland.

Archer issued a statement published by the Waikato Times, saying he held McKee in the “highest regard both as a person and as a master trainer” but it was in the horse’s best interests.

“Our decision to change training stables centred around our belief that the continued care of Mufhasa by his lifelong caregiver and companion, strapper Amy Doran, was vital to Mufhasa’s wellbeing, particularly at this late stage in his career, after seven uninterrupted years of the pair being together, something Stephen was not prepared to allow to continue,” Archer said.

Wallace said Mufhasa, who races as King Mufhasa in Australia, would follow the program set out by McKee to contest either the Waikato Draught Sprint on February 9 or the CF Orr Stakes in Melbourne on the same day.

Two of Mufhasa’s Group One wins – the 2011 Toorak Handicap and last year’s Futurity Stakes – have been at Caulfield, the venue for the Orr Stakes.

 
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