Cox Plate discard Mourinho will now head to the Group 1 $1m Longines Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on November 1 after failing to be included in the field for the weight for age championship on Saturday.
A disappointed Manny Gelagotis, racing manager for his brother, trainer Peter Gelagotis, will now head to Flemington on Derby Day after the Moonee Valley Racing Club committee chose not to include Mourinho in the final field for the Group 1 $3m Sportingbet Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley.
“My owners should feel disappointed,” Gelagotis told Racing Network.
Connections of Mourinho and three year old Wandjina both paid a $130,000 late entry fee for the Cox Plate but the Gai Waterhouse trained colt was awarded the last spot in the Cox Plate following his third to Shooting To Win in the Group 1 $1m BECK Caulfield Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield on October 11.
“I think we all understood that we were vying for the final spot, I suppose,” Gelagotis said.
“And of the ones that were vying for the spot, I feel disappointed that Wandjina got in before him.”
But Gelagotis has to look to the future and will run the seven year old in the weight for age Mackinnon Stakes.
“He’ll probably go to the Mackinnon. We just need to move forward,” Gelagotis said.
Mourinho has been racing in the best form of his career with two wins and two seconds from his four starts this campaign.
The seven year old scored a first up win over 1500m at Moonee Valley in an Open Handicap on August 23 before running second to Cox Plate fancy The Cleaner in the Group 2 $250,000 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley on September 6.
Mourinho then chased home The Cleaner again when third in the Group 3 $200,000 Alternate Railway JRA Cup (2040m) at Moonee Valley on September 26 before heading to Cranbourne to win the Listed $200,000 TAB Cranbourne Cup (2025m) at Cranbourne on October 12.