Returning to racing for a career-best victory in the Group 2 Australia Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley last weekend, trainer Peter Gelagotis has outlined the Group 3 Carlyon Cup (1600m) at Caulfield on February 14th as likely-to-be the next point of call for Mourinho.
Jumping from the gates well, jockey Vlad Duric immediately pressed Mourinho forward and found an ideal position on the heels of the race’s early leaders, with cover.
Finding the final straight with a clear racing line, the son of Oratorio charged clear of the pack and maintained a strong enough run to hit the line a head clear of It Is Written; three-time Group 1 winner and clear favourite Dissident running on for third.
Understandably thrilled with the victory posted by Mourinho, Gelagotis confirmed the 2015 Carlyon Cup was initially supposed to figure as the seven-year-old’s first point of call, and will now be used as a second campaign step on the way to the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington on March 14th.
“One of the owners called me on Monday and said ‘there are only 10 runners in the race would you have a look at it’ so I said OK and we thought why not throw him in,” Gelagotis told Racing Victoria.
“Ollie (Damien Oliver) trialled him for us last week and he came through the trial well and Ollie said he went well and was fairly forward in condition.
“We thought if we give him another trial it was going to cost us $300 to lug him to Cranbourne and it was $4000 for running eighth here. Even if he ran eighth we wouldn’t have been disgraced and we’d have had money in the bank but anything can happen in racing when you’ve got a good horse.”
Securing eight wins and as many minor places over his 32 start career so far, Mourinho arguably found career-best form so far over the 2014 Spring Carnival; winning a minor over 1500m first-up before running a close second to The Cleaner in the Group 2 Dato’Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) on September 6th.
Placing a credible third in the Group 3 JRA Cup (2040m) on September 26th, Mourinho returned to the winner’s circle in the Listed Cranbourne Cup (2025m) before ending his campaign seventh in the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) on November 1st.
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