Dedicated trainer Peter Gelagotis has no doubt that Mourinho has the form on the board to win the Group 1 $1m Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington on Saturday.
Mourinho is racing in the best form of his career with two wins and a third from three starts in his latest campaign and Gelagotis considers him to be well over the odds on the fourth line of betting at $9 with Ladbrokes.com.au.
“He will take a lot of beating in the Australian Cup because he is flying,” Gelagotis told the Herald Sun.
“I can’t understand how he is at his current odds.’’
“He made some of his competitors look ordinary in the Peter Young Stakes at Caulfield, but they are above him in the Australian Cup betting.
“I think he is the best-performed horse in Victoria at the moment.”
“His form is outstanding, but maybe he needs to win this Group 1 for the people to recognise just how good he is.”
Mourinho scored a surprise first up win at huge odds beating It Is Written and multiple Group 1 winner Dissident in the Group 2 $200,000 Jeep Australia Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on January 24.
The seven year old then ran a gallant third behind Dissident and Entirely Platinum in the Group 1 $400,000 Sportingbet C.F. Orr Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on February 14 before scoring a decisive win over Happy Trails and Akzar in the Group 2 $200,000 Crown Golden Ale Peter Young Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield two weeks later.
“I thought his last win was gobsmacking,” Gelagotis said.
“Had he run straight, he would have won by two lengths and he was holding all his rivals on the line.
Mourinho is stepping back up to 2000m in the Australian Cup and Gelagotis considers that to be his pet distance.
“If he can handle Flemington and settle, the extra 200m will be right up his alley. The 2000m is his pet distance,” Gelagotis said.
“He is a happy camper and now he has learnt to settle in his races, with a ping at the end, he has become one of the top gallopers in Victoria.
“I would not swap him for any other horse in the Australian Cup. He deserves a Group 1 win.”
Mourinho will be taking on similar opposition in the Australian as he beat in the Peter Young Stakes plus a couple of more interstate raiders, possibly the English import Hartnell from the John O’Shea’s Sydney stables who ran an eye catching second to stablemate Contributor in the Group 1 $500,000 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Warwick Farm on February 28.
While Australian Cup rivals Protectionist ($5.50), Happy Trails ($6.50), Akzar ($9) and Spillway ($9) all finished behind Mourinho in the Peter Young Stakes.
Popular international visitor Red Cadeaux has settled in well in Australia and is marked as an $11 chance for the Australian Cup.