Trainer Tony McEvoy is confident that imported galloper Mouro will prove that he is up to Group 1 level when he resumes in the Tile Importer Handicap (1400m) at Caulfield tomorrow.
Mouro has never raced above Listed level since arriving in Australia in 2012 but McEvoy is toying with the idea of running the Grand Slam entire in the Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m) at Caulfield on October 12.
“His form-lines are fantastic and I’ve always thought he was up to the highest level,” McEvoy told TVN this morning.
“If he runs really well in this race first-up on Saturday I’ll set him for the Toorak, but he’d need to go very well on Saturday.
“We’ve got the bonus of a good barrier (3) and a good jockey (Damien Oliver) on Saturday so I’m expecting good things from him.”
Mouro had two starts in France, for a win and a placing, before coming to Australia and joining the McEvoy stable in the 2012.
The promising entire started his Australian racing career with back-to-back wins in the Xmas Twilight Races Handicap (1400m) and Capital Transport Handicap (1600m) at Morphettville Parks in Adelaide before finishing second behind Lord of Brazil in his Melbourne debut in the Tony Beddison Cup (1600m) at Moonee Valley last November.
After a lengthy spell the proven winner started his 2013 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival campaign with a slightly disappointing sixth place finish behind Keith’s Legacy in the Royal Randwick Handicap (1400m) but improved significantly when runner-up to Messene in the Anzac Day Handicap (1600m) at Warwick Farm.
McEvoy took Mouro to Hawkesbury and was rewarded when the galloper scored a narrow victory over Beaten Up, who went on to win the Group 1 Doomben Cup (2000m) at his next start, in the Listed Rowley Mile (1600m) and finished his preparation with an unlucky second behind Group 2 winner Speediness in the Listed Scone Cup (1600m).
The Tile Imported Handicap has drawn a strong field and Mouro will need to be at his best to defeat the likes of Melbourne Cup hopeful Precedence, last-start winner Shoreham and the promising Don’t Get Excited.