Peter Gelagotis’s evergreen veteran Mourinho continued his top form this time in to defeat Group 1 winner Happy Trails home in the Peter Young Stakes 2015 at Caulfield Racecourse on Blue Diamond Stakes Day.
The pre-race hype and betting plunge for today’s $200,000 Group 2 Crown Golden Ale Peter Young Stakes (1800m) was on returning Melbourne Cup winner Protectionist.
Trainer Kris Lees had warned punters about backing the German import first-up over the 1800m however with the galloper out to become the 13th Melbourne Cup winner to return and win the Peter Young.
Protectionist didn’t handle the distance, as Lees had predicted, and was worse than midfield throughout before getting stuck last on the turn and failing to run on.
Rising eight-year-old Oratorio gelding Mourinho meanwhile put in another excellent performance after settling well around fifth with the field led around by the David Hayes & Tom Dabernig-trained Jacquinot Bay.
Following the leader round up near the front were the likes of Star Rolling and the Peter Moody-trained French import Au Revoir showing early speed to settle third.
The subsequent Peter Young Stakes quinella though were biding their time with the Vlad Duric-ridden Mourinho in fifth followed by Paul Beshara’s Mackinnon Stakes winner Happy Trails in sixth with Damien Oliver in the saddle.
On the straight Mourinho ($8.50) raced up to lead with 100m left to travel finishing strongly off a strong speed to hold off Happy Trials ($6.50) while the Darren Weir-trained Selkirk eight-year-old Akzar ($11) ran a great race for third heading towards the $400,000 Group 2 Adelaide Cup (3200m) on March 9.
“He’s absolutely flying,” Gelagotis said after the win.
“He’s exceeded our expectations so far. Coming into today’s race I had a lot, a lot of confidence.
“On paper to me the horse looked the winner.
“I like to see him just keep progressing and improving.
“He’s in very vintage form for a horse of this stature.”
Mourinho and Happy Trails meanwhile are likely to clash again in the $1 million Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington on ‘Super Saturday’, March 14, and lead the early markets at Ladbrokes.com.au formerly topped by Protectionist.
First-up winner of the Group 2 Australia Stakes (1200m) in late January, Mourinho came into the Peter Young Stakes on the back of a third to Dissident in the Group 1 CF Orr Stakes (1400m) at the track a fortnight ago.
His Moe-based trainer Gelagotis was thrilled to get another win with the champ as the horse prepares for another shot at a maiden Group 1 next month.
“I can’t ask for any more. He tries, is honest, consistent a real true competitor,” he said.
“He does us really proud.”
Gelagotis’s brother and the stable’s racing manager Manny was also excited about the old warhorse’s form heading into the Australian Cup in a fortnight.
“He had to win if the form was true today,” he said.
“The Australian Cup is going to be a different challenge.
“Getting back to Flemington.
“But he’s a weight-for-age horse, proven.
“I am happy the horse has proved our judgment is pretty right.
“A great result.”
Back today’s Peter Young Stakes winner next race at the right price online now at Ladbrokes.com.au who offer the hottest futures and on-track odds on all the autumn features including for next month’s Australia Cup.
2015 Peter Young Stakes Results & Finishing Order
Caulfield Race 6 – 28/02/2015
|1||3||MOURINHO||Peter Gelagotis||Vlad Duric||–||6||59kg||$8|
|2||2||HAPPY TRAILS||Paul Beshara||Damien Oliver||0.75L||8||59kg||$6.50|
|3||9||AKZAR (IRE)||Darren Weir||Brad Rawiller||0.95L||2||59kg||$11|
|4||12||SPILLWAY (GB)||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Michael Walker||1.95L||9||59kg||$12|
|5||8||AU REVOIR (IRE)||Peter G Moody||Ben Melham||2.15L||11||59kg||$10|
|6||1||PROTECTIONIST (GER)||Kris Lees||Craig Williams||3.9L||7||59kg||$2.90F|
|7||5||JACQUINOT BAY||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Mark Zahra||4.4L||10||59kg||$16|
|8||13||REAL LOVE||Adam Durrant||Damian Lane||4.5L||13||57kg||$8|
|9||6||BAGMAN||Chris Waller||Glen Boss||4.7L||3||59kg||$31|
|10||7||BEATEN UP (GB)||Chris Waller||Steven Arnold||5.7L||4||59kg||$41|
|11||10||SONNTAG||Henry Dwyer||Chad Schofield||8.7L||5||59kg||$101|
|12||11||STAR ROLLING||Peter Morgan & Craig Widdison||Stephen Baster||9.45L||12||59kg||$26|
|13||4||LIDARI (FR)||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||11.7L||1||59kg||$21|