Mourinho may have missed out on a spot in the 2014 Cox Plate field but the gelding will still get his Group One chance after the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) was touted as his replacement start.
Mourinho was left out of the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m), due to run this Saturday at Moonee Valley Racecourse, on Tuesday.
16 acceptances were taken with the Moonee Valley Racing Club committee leaving Mourinho and Chivalry off the capacity 14-horse field in favour of Sweynesse and Wandjina.
The gelding’s connections were disappointed by the snub, considering Mourinho had a much better rating than the Gai Waterhouse-trained Wandjina.
The gelding had a successful spring campaign, finishing second to The Cleaner in the Group 2 Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) at weight-for-age, was third in the Group 3 JRA Cup (2040m) at Moonee Valley and won the Listed Cranbourne Cup (2025m) last time out.
Wandjina’s best spring performance was a Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) third last time out, which was the same place Shamus Award finished last year before going on to win the Cox Plate. Ultimately this swayed the committee in Wandjina’s favour.
Manny Gelagotis, racing manager and brother of Mourinho’s trainer Peter Gelagotis, has accepted the decision but believes the horse’s connections are entitled to feel disappointed, especially considering his recent form.
“I think we all understood that we were vying for the final spot, I suppose,” Gelagotis told Sky Racing.
“And of the ones that were vying for the spot, I feel disappointed that Wandjina got in before him.
“He’ll probably go to the Mackinnon. We just need to move forward.”
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