Veteran gelding Mourinho has posted undoubtedly a career-best performance to date at Caulfield Racecourse over the weekend; producing a strong turn of foot to take out the featured 2015 Underwood Stakes (1800m) from Fawkner.
Jumping from the gates well, jockey Vlad Duric settled the Oratorio gelding off the early pace of The Cleaner; allowing the popular Tasmanian to set a typical break-neck pace away from the barrier and over the back straight.
Rounding onto the final straight and steered between runners, Mourinho immediately responded when asked for an extra effort by Duric; locking in a fierce sprint battle with The Cleaner and Fawkner and managing to bob his read at the right time to secure a maiden Group 1 victory.
Duric delivered a typically polished performance aboard Mourinho for success in the Underwood Stakes and was quick to praise the fortitude of the eight-year-old in the brave victory.
“He got into a bad spot the other day, but today we drew a bit better and it favoured us really well,” Duric said.
“He just had the peach run and he was able to come into the race when we pleased.
“He nearly threw it away again the bugger when he ran off the track, but god bless him.
“They wrote him off a bit today, but I am just really proud of him and the boys will be tickled pink.”
Trainer Peter Gelagotis was elated with Mourinho’s win in the 2015 Underwood Stakes and could not hide his emotions in saddling his maiden Group 1 winner.
“It is my first Group 1 winner,” Gelagotis said after the race.
“We have competed and we have really put our horse out there.
“We have backed ourselves and we have backed our horse.
“We have a great group of owners who are in this horse and they are some of the most wonderful people on this earth.
“They deserve this success because they live and breathe their sport.
“A gentlemen once said to me that it is a privilege to be a horse trainer and it is a privilege to have a horse like Mourinho.
“I am just doing my job and it is what I get paid to do.
“I try to do it with distinction and honour and I try to bring my horses to the races in the best possible health and there is no greater reward when you win.
“I don’t know what more I can say.”
Mourinho has been set on a path towards the Cox Plate this time, and has firmed into odds of $26 to win the Moonee Valley feature on October 24th with leading online bookie Ladbrokes.com.au.
2015 Underwood Stakes Results
|1||5||MOURINHO||Peter Gelagotis||Vlad Duric||–||4||59kg||$18|
|2||1||FAWKNER||Robert Hickmott||Damien Oliver||0.1L||2||59kg||$3.40F|
|3||4||THE CLEANER||Mick Burles||Noel Callow||0.2L||1||59kg||$7.50|
|4||9||MONGOLIAN KHAN||Murray Baker||Opie Bosson||1.7L||3||58kg||$15|
|5||10||VOLKSTOK’N’BARRELL (NZ)||Donna Logan||Craig Williams||2.45L||7||58kg||$12|
|6||6||CONTRIBUTER (IRE)||John O’Shea||James McDonald||2.55L||8||59kg||$4|
|7||12||HI WORLD||Peter G Moody||Kerrin McEvoy||2.65L||6||58kg||$21|
|8||2||DANDINO (GB)||Darren Weir||Ben Melham||2.85L||11||59kg||$15|
|9||8||DIBAYANI (IRE)||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Damian Lane||3.25L||9||59kg||$12|
|10||3||SERTORIUS||Jamie Edwards||Ryan Maloney||4L||10||59kg||$51|
|11||11||MAGICOOL||Mark Kavanagh||James Winks||4.2L||5||58kg||$61|
|12||7||WEARY (FR)||Chris Waller||Craig Newitt||5.2L||12||59kg||$17|