Co-owner Tony Ferraro has confirmed that Mourinho will return to the races in the 2015 P.B. Lawrence Stakes at Caulfield on August 15.
Mourinho’s regular trainer Peter Gelagotis is currently serving a three month suspension for the administration of an amino acid to Axis Point before the horse was set to run at Warrnambool on May 5 and he is currently being prepared by Darryl Blackshaw at Moe.
Mourinho will remain in the care of Blackshaw when he starts his 2015 Spring Racing Carnival campaign in the P.B. Lawrence Stakes and will also run in the Group 2 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley on September 5 with Blackshaw as his trainer before he returns to Gelagotis the following day.
The Oratorio gelding will return to Group 1 level for the Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on September 26 and connections are hopeful that he will gain a start in the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 24 after he was controversially denied a place in the 2014 edition of the race by the Moonee Valley Racing Club board.
Mourinho made his racing debut at Sale back in November of 2010, but it has only been in the last 12 months that the rising eight-year-old has stamped himself as a consistent performer at weight-for-age level.
He started his 2014 Spring Racing Carnival campaign with a win in the Sportingbet Handicap (1500m) at Moonee Valley on August 23 and he went on to finish in the placings in the Group 2 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) and the Group 3 JRA Plate (2040m) before he returned to winning form in the Listed Cranbourne Cup (2025m) on October 12.
Mourinho ran in the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) and finished a credible seventh after he missed out on a place in the Cox Plate field, but connections quickly got over their disappointment with Moonee Valley when Mourinho scored an upset victory in the Group 2 Australia Stakes (1200m) on January 24.
The tough gelding recorded his first Group 1 placing in the Orr Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on February 14 and he recorded another win at Group level in the Group 2 Peter Young Stakes (1800m) at the same venue a fortnight later before he was sent to the spelling paddock after he failed to fire in the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington on March 14.
Mourinho is currently available at 2015 Cox Plate odds of $34 with Ladbrokes, while unlikely starter Able Friend ($9) and Godolphin Group 1 winner Contributer ($9) remain locked in a battle for favouritism.