Mouro is a lightly raced five-year-old but the entire is set to get his chance to shine this summer. He will be aimed at a couple of feature races in Sydney with the possibility of running in Group One races during the autumn carnival.
The horse will begin his schedule on Saturday in the Listed Festival Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens. He was originally entered in both the Festival Stakes and Listed Recognition Stakes (1630m) at Doomben Racecourse in Brisbane but trainer Tony McEvoy made the decision to remain in Sydney Thursday morning.
“[The Recognition Stakes] looked the race I wanted to go to. There were ten horses in [the Festival Stakes] rated over 100 and only one horse in Brisbane rated over 100, which was Mouro,” he told Racing Network.
“But he’s come up with barrier 13 in Brisbane and he’s come up with barrier three in Sydney.”
McEvoy has said the 2014 Recognition Stakes was the more appealing race, given the level of competition and recent rain in Brisbane but a wide barrier draw and top weight of 61kg were too hard to overcome.
Mouro drew the second widest barrier in the Recognition Stakes (13) and was due to carry up to seven kilos more than his rivals while he drew ideally in the Festival Stakes (3) and will carry just 59kg. The decision was easy.
He is a $9.50 chance in the Festival Stakes betting market at Ladbrokes.com.au for which Sir Moments is the favourite at $4.20.
Following the 2014 Festival Stakes, Mouro will likely contest the Group 2 Villiers Stakes (1600m) at Royal Randwick on December 13.
Mouro’s only start this campaign was in an Open Handicap (1350m) at Rosehill on November 15, a strong performance in which he was beaten less than one length by Heart Testa. The horse had experience running in elite company during the autumn in both the Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m) and Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m), however he couldn’t make anything of either run and finished in the back half of the field.
“I’ve always thought this horse has Group 1 ability,” McEvoy told Racing Network.
“I’ve run him in two – the Toorak and he jarred up, and the Doncaster and it was a bog.
“I need a track somewhere in the middle.”
Without Mouro, the Recognition Stakes is headlined by the Tony Gollan-trained Brave Ali who will jump from barrier four.
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