Weather Will Decide Mouro’s 2014 Villiers Stakes Lead-up

Five-year-old Mouro will have one foot in Queensland and one in New South Wales this week as his connections enter the horse in both the Listed Recognition Stakes (1600m) at Doomben and the Listed Festival Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens this Saturday.

Mouro will run in either Sydney or Brisbane this weekend, depending on the weather, as his lead-up race for the Villiers Stakes next month

Mouro will run in either Sydney or Brisbane this weekend, depending on the weather, as his lead-up race for the Villiers Stakes next month. Photo by Race Horse Photos Australia.

Both races will serve as lead-ups for the Group 2 Villiers Stakes (1600m) on December 13 at Kensington. While the majority of those runners will run in the 2014 Festival Stakes this Saturday, Tony McEvoy is not against taking Mouro up north for the 2014 Recognition Stakes in Brisbane if the ground is better suited.

McEvoy will monitor the weather in both Sydney and Brisbane throughout the week, with the horse safely entered in both races until he can make an informed decision.

“I don’t want a surface that is too firm for him,” McEvoy told Sky Racing.

“They are predicting rain in Brisbane and some in Sydney during the week.

“He doesn’t want wet ground but I don’t want to run him on hard ground.”

Mouro began his racing career in France before debuting in Australia back in October 2012 with a win in the Xmas Twilight Races (1400m). Since then the horse has gone on to win a further six races, including the Group 3 Eclipse Stakes (1800m) and Group 3 TAB Rewards Stakes (1400m) earlier this year.

He was found to be suffering from a joint injury after the Group 3 Hawkesbury Cup (1600m) in May that required surgery, forcing him off the track for over six months. The horse missed most of the spring carnival but returned last Saturday in the Kingswood Handicap (1350m). After railing up to be midfield on the fence, Mouro kept along an inside path and hit the line well late to get quite close to the winner Heart Testa, finishing less than one length behind in second place despite carrying 60kg which is his heaviest weight to date.

Heart Testa will also likely head to the 2014 Villiers Stakes, which sets the race up as an exciting rematch.

The nominations for the both the Recognition and Festival Stakes will be released Monday morning, keep checking back at Races.com.au for all the latest updates.

In the meantime, open your online betting accounts at Ladbrokes.com.au to receive a $100 bonus match on your first bet.

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