Mouro has been included in the 2014 Brisbane Handicap field and will carry the top weight of 61 kilograms with leading jockey Tommy Berry in the saddle rather than contest the Group 2 Villiers Stakes (1600m) at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.
Tony McEvoy revealed last month that the Villiers Stakes would be the summer goal for Mouro, but the talented trainer was forced to reassess his plans for the imported galloper after he finished a disappointing tenth in the Listed Festival Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens on November 28.
McEvoy believes that Mouro had excuses for his poor performance in the Festival Stakes and still had the talent to win the Villiers Stakes, but he told Sky Racing HQ that the Listed Brisbane Handicap (1600m) looms as an easier option for the Grand Slam entire.
“We got to the races and it was a pretty hot, stuffy day,” McEvoy said.
“Where we were stabled there was a mare walking right in front of him and he just took to her as soon as we got there.
“We acted on it as quickly as we could to move her away, but he had his mind on any things than racing.
“It is frustrating because I really wanted to run him in the Villiers and he has the class to win the Villiers, but that run wasn’t good enough and I have decided to place him as best as I can to get the result I need.
“That to mine said that the Brisbane race was easier.”
Mouro has raced without blinkers in his two race starts this preparation, but McEvoy has opted to reapply the shades and hopes that the reapplication of blinkers and a couple of other gear changes will help Mouro return to his best form in the Brisbane Handicap.
“I’ve changed his gear and I’ve put blinkers back on the horse because he has been very effective with them on in the past,” McEvoy said.
“I’ve taken the tongue tie off, the other day he sort of resented the tongue tie and I think he resented everything the other day.
“I’ve put a tongue control bit on the horse.”
Helen Page-trained Rudy was included in the acceptances for the Brisbane Handicap, but is set to make the trip to Sydney to contest the Villiers Stakes, while Mouro will still face stiff competition in the form of Darci Be Good, Hopfgarten, Steep Zip, Kurtley and Perfect Punch.