Seven-year-old Mourinho delivered trainer Peter Gelagotis the biggest win of his career in Saturday’s Group 2 Australia Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley Racecourse.
Considering the gelding was never intended to run in the race at all and was a late entry after nominations were extended last week makes the win that much sweeter.
Peter Moody’s three time Group One winner Dissident was the $1.85 odds-on favourite at Ladbrokes.com.au to win the 2015 Australia Stakes while Mourinho was out wide at $31 considering he’d never raced, let alone won, over 1200 metres. The gelding found success over 2000 metres during the spring which put his ability as a sprinter into doubt.
However Mourinho displayed a great burst of gate speed under hoop Vlad Duric, making the most of an inside run to win a short neck in front of last year’s minor placer It Is Written with Dissident a further one and a quarter lengths away in third.
“I thought he would be three pairs back but I did say to Vlad to not give him a dig,” Gelagotis told Sky Racing.
“He landed a length further forward than expected and he was going super with 600 metres to run.
“If he didn’t hang in his races, he would be a Group One horse for sure.”
It Is Written’s jockey Matthew Allen lodged a protest against Mourinho following the race, alleging interference from the gelding around the home turn. While stewards did find Mourinho hung out on the home bend, it didn’t cost It Is Written the victory.
Mourinho will now need to trial to the satisfaction of stewards before his next start.
Gelagotis pinpointed a three run autumn preparation for the gelding before his 2015 Australia Stakes win that included the Group 3 Carlyon Cup (1600m), Group 2 Peter Young Stakes (1800m), and the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m). However that could all change now.
To keep your eyes on Mourinho’s upcoming autumn campaign, make sure you open your Ladbrokes.com.au online betting account today. New customers will receive a $250 bonus match on their first bet just by quoting code: BETBONUS.
2015 Australia Stakes Results & Finishing Order
|1||3||MOURINHO||Peter Gelagotis||Vlad Duric||–||4||58.5kg||$31|
|2||4||IT IS WRITTEN||Robbie Griffiths||Matthew Allen||0.2L||5||58.5kg||$9.50|
|3||1||DISSIDENT||Peter G Moody||Ben Melham||1.45L||6||58.5kg||$1.85|
|4||2||SMOKIN’ JOEY||Wez Hunter||Chris Parnham (a)||1.65L||2||58.5kg||$13|
|5||9||TUDOR||Doug Harrison||Craig Williams||2.65L||3||55kg||$6|
|6||8||AUDINO||Robbie Laing||Dwayne Dunn||3.4L||8||58.5kg||$101|
|7||5||HARD STRIDE||Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra||Damian Lane||8.15L||7||58.5kg||$6|
|8||6||BLACKIE||Jarrod McLean||Chris Symons||9.15L||1||58.5kg||$61|
|–||7||RICHIE’S VIBE||Paul Beshara||Damien Oliver||–||0||58.5kg||–|