Trainer Peter Gelagotis has revealed that the 2015 Cox Plate will be the 2015 Spring Racing Carnival goal for Mourinho, who was sent to the spelling paddock following his luckless run in the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington on Saturday.
Mourinho was well-backed in the lead-up to the Australian Cup after winning both the Group 2 Australia Stakes (1200m) and Group 2 Peter Young Stakes (1800m) in the lead-up, but he had a very troubled run in the Australian Cup and was unable to finish any better than 13th.
“He pulled up well,” Gelagotis told RSN.
“It was just unfortunate that on our Grand Final that we drew a sticky gate and nothing went right for the horse.
“He got crowded, he wanted to over race and when he did want to get out and get going he got shoved back into a pocket and that just took the shine off his run.
“When he did get out he just boxed to the line and his is better that that, but he just didn’t get a go at them.”
The Moonee Valley Racing Club Committee opted not to include Mourinho in the Cox Plate field last year, but Gelagotis is keen to give the Oratorio gelding another opportunity to qualify for the Australasian Weight-For-Age Championship.
Gelagotis now believes that Mourinho has the racing resume to be assured of a start in the Cox Plate and he is confident that the seven-year-old can be more than competitive in the Group 1 event if he is able to replicate the form that he has shown during his autumn preparation.
“He went straight to the agistment property on the way home after the races and he is in a nice green paddock now,” Gelagotis said.
“He will have a couple of months off and from all reports he is bright and well.
“Our full focus will be on the Cox Plate.
“His CV is pretty right now to be included in the race and as long as he comes back in the same form that he has been in this preparation, he can pick-off one of the lead-up races and show that he is holding that form line.”
Mourinho is currently available at 2015 Cox Plate odds of $34 with Ladbrokes, while last year’s winner Adelaide ($9) is a narrow favourite from imported gallopers Hartnell ($10) and Contributer ($11).