Trainer Peter Gelagotis is pessimistic about the chances of Mourinho in the 2016 Ladbrokes Orr Stakes, but he is keen to see his star galloper build towards the defence of his Peter Young Stakes title in a fortnight.
Mourinho went to another level during the 2015 Spring Racing Carnival and he claimed a maiden victory at Group 1 level in the Underwood Stakes, but Gelagotis is still not sure the son of Oratorio is good enough to win the star-studded Ladbrokes Orr Stakes and is already looking ahead to the Group 2 Peter Young Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes Day.
“It is a hot field and I believe if we can get a nice run in transit he will run a very credible race,” Gelagotis told Racing Ahead.
“It would take a brave man to say that Mourinho can win the race, but when we have doubted him he has made us look silly at times.
“It would be a great result, but I am a realist.
“He closed the race off really nice, which gave us a lot of confidence going into the Peter Young last year and consequently he won that race.
“That is where I believe his next win will come with some confidence because it is his pet distance and he has a real liking to that track now.
“He gets his chance to run a nice race and build momentum for the Peter Young.
While Gelagotis is not confident about Mourinho’s winning chances in the Ladbrokes Orr Stakes, he is still happy with the condition of the veteran gelding ahead of the Group 1 event.
Mourinho could finish no better than seventh when he returned to the races in the Group 2 Australia Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on January 23, but Gelagotis was still happy with his performance and believes he has taken plenty of improvement from the run.
“He is well,” Gelagotis said.
“He created his own demise by missing the start, but he settled lovely and he peeled out and made a nice run to the line.
“The sectionals suggest that he is going every bit as good as he has ever gone and he has come through the run really well and trained on superbly with a nice trial on Monday morning.
“I don’t think that we can do anymore.”
Mourinho is currently available at 2016 Ladbrokes Orr Stakes odds of $26, while Lucky Hussler ($4.60) and Turn Me Loose ($4.80) are still locked in a battle for favouritism.