Regular rider Vlad Duric will be available to partner Mourinho in the Group 1 $500,000 C.F. Orr Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
Duric has been aboard Mourinho for his last nine starts since winning the 2015 Group 2 $200,000 Jeep Australia Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley but looked like he had to relinquish the ride on the Peter Gelagotis trained eight year old.
Duric was set to take up a Singapore riding licence from February 1 but a hold up in him receiving his work visa has enabled him to continue his association with the Group 1 winner this weekend.
Mourinho ran a mighty race with Duric in the saddle when third to Dissident in last year’s C.F. Orr Stakes before going on to win the Group 2 $200,000 Crown Golden Ale Peter Young Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield two weeks later.
And Duric can see the same scenario unfolding this year after Mourinho’s first up seventh behind Holler in the Australia Stakes on January 23 then scored a soft win in an 800m Cranbourne barrier trial on Monday.
“I was really rapt with how he felt,” Duric told AAP.
“If he can run well and bounce out of it going forward to the Peter Young, that’s the race he’ll take some beating in.”
Gelagotis was also happy with Mourinho’s barrier trial win and agrees with Duric that he could make it back to back wins in the Peter Young Stakes.
“I am walking away from the exercise happy and looking forward to Saturday,” Gelagotis said.
“The way he went this morning (Monday), if he is fortunate enough to draw a gate, and if he doesn’t blunder the start like he did a fortnight ago, he might fill a hole and really bowl into the Peter Young with a lot of confidence.”
Mourinho was racing in career best form during the 2015 Melbourne Spring Carnival, producing wins in the Group 2 $200,000 Back To Caulfield P.B. Lawrence Stakes (1400m) and then two starts later in the Group 1 $400,000 Hyland Race Colours Underwood Stakes (1800m) both at Caulfield.
Mourinho is a winner of eleven of his forty starts and has earned $1,335,997 in prizemoney.
Twenty-two horses have been nominated for the C.F. Orr Stakes with the final field being released on Wednesday morning.