A total of 12 colts and geldings and four fillies will line up in Saturday's Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) as they battle for $750,000 in prizemoney.
The in-form Mahuta will be looking to string together seven wins in a row and looks the likely leader after coming up with barrier 9.
The son of Flying Spur is one of three runners for trainer Darren Weir, with Palentino and Perfect Reflection boosting the stable’s chances in the Flemington showpiece.
Palentino was first past the post in the Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes (1400m) but was relegated to 2nd following a controversial protest.
Former Perth filly, Perfect Reflection, tasted defeat for the first time in six starts when having her first run for Weir in the Group 3 Vanity Stakes (1400m), but she looks capable of significant improvement second-up.
Group 1 Crown Oaks (2500m) winner Jameka, Group 1 NZ 1000 Guineas (1600m) winner Risque and Mick Price’s improving mare, Sailing By, are the other three fillies aiming to take on the boys.
Australian racegoers will get their first glimpse of Kiwi colt Xtravagant who will jump from barrier 3 as he seeks his third win at elite level.
Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) winner Tarzino also lines up from barrier 4 following a slashing return in the Autumn Stakes, as does Group 1 Spring Champion (2000m) winner Vanbrugh who finished well back behind stablemate Press Statement in the Hobartville Stakes (1400m) when resuming.
2016 Australian Guineas field and barriers:
1. MAHUTA Darren Weir - Brad Rawiller (9) 56.5kg
2. TARZINO (NZ) Mick Price - Craig Newitt (4) 56.5kg
3. VANBRUGH Chris Waller – TBA (1) 56.5kg
4. READY FOR VICTORY Mick Price - Glen Boss (5) 56.5kg
5. XTRAVAGANT (NZ) Stephen Autridge & Jamie Richards - Matthew Cameron (3) 56.5kg
6. BON AURUM Ciaron Maher - Jack Hill (11) 56.5kg
7. SOVEREIGN NATION David Hayes & Tom Dabernig - Luke Currie (8) 56.5kg
8. TIVACI Michael Moroney - Nicholas Hall (13) 56.5kg
9. PALENTINO Darren Weir - Mark Zahra (16) 56.5kg
10. RIVER WILD Gai Waterhouse - Brett Prebble (6) 56.5kg
11. SNOOPY Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes - Dwayne Dunn (14) 56.5kg
12. TULSA Michael Moroney - Steven Arnold (15) 56.5kg
13. JAMEKA Ciaron Maher - Damien Oliver (12) 54.5kg
14. PERFECT REFLECTION Darren Weir - Ben Melham (2) 54.5kg
15. RISQUE (NZ) David Hayes & Tom Dabernig - Damian Lane (10) 54.5kg
16. SAILING BY Mick Price – TBA (7) 54.5kg