Mourinho continued his excellent affinity with Moonee Valley’s 2040-metre circuit, winning the Group 3 JRA Cup last Friday night.
Trained by Peter Gelagotis at Moe, Mourinho (Oratorio – Benevolent, by Generous) worked forward from a wide barrier and led throughout, holding off the sustained challenge of Gris Caro (With Approval – Aviane, by Winged Love) to win by a long neck.
Mourinho has raced three times at Moonee Valley over 2040 metres for three victories. His first win over the route came in an off-season three-year-old handicap in December 2010.
His second visit saw him defeat Midnight Martini by a long neck on Cox Plate day last year. Midnight Martini won the Group 2 Matriach Stakes (2000m) at her next start.
“He loves Moonee Valley and he’s an amazing animal where if he’s in front he can just switch off and he can really run them off their legs,” Gelagotis said.
“It’s a credit to the horse. I’ve done a lot of hard work with him, he broke down and it took a year and a half to get him back.”
Mourinho’s win in the JRA Cup was his second at Group 3 level. He won the 2011 Tasmanian Derby (2200m).
Mourinho will have his next run in the $200,000 Listed TAB Cranbourne Cup (2025m) on October 13.
Purchased for $36,000 at the 2009 Inglis Classic yearling sale, Mourinho is out of the Generous mare Benevolent who retired a maiden. Benevolent has also produced Group 3 SA Sires’ Produce winner Molto Bene (Royal Academy – Benevolent, by Generous).
Coolmore Stud stallion Oratorio (Danehill – Mahrah, by Vaguely Noble) enjoyed a welcome boost weeks after his sale to South African interests when his four-year-old daughter Temida (Oratorio – Interim Payment, by Red Ransom) won Sunday’s Group 1 Grosser Preis Von Bayern (1m4f) at Munich in Germany.
Avontuur Stud purchased Oratorio to stand in South Africa once the sire completes his southern hemisphere duties at Coolmore’s Australian operation later this year.
Temida won the Group 3 Premio Verziere – Memorial Aldo Cirla (10f) in Italy last year before adding a Listed success in her homeland to her record on June 30.
Temida settled in the box seat before outsprinting her opposition late to post her maiden Group 1 success by three-quarters of a length over Feuerblitz (Big Shuffle – Flamingo Island, by Acatenango).
Oratorio has produced four Australian Stakes winners, including last year’s Group 1 Golden Rose winner Manawanui (Oratorio – Lady Remlap, by Filante).
Coolmore stallions look set to play a major part in Saturday’s Group 1 Randwick Guineas with Oratorio (Danehill – Mahrah, by Vagule Noble) and Fastnet Rock (Danehill – Piccadilly Circus, by Royal Academy) the sires of the top two three-year-olds in the betting.
Oratorio’s son Manawanui (Oratorio (IRE) – Lady Remlap, by Filante) will attempt to complete his second Group 1 victory but must overcome Fastnet Rock’s outstanding daughter Mosheen (Fastnet Rock – Sumehra, by Stravinksky) if he is to win the $500,000 event.
Arrowfield Stud’s champion stallion Redoute’s Choice (Danehill – Shantha’s Choice, by Canny Lad) will have two representatives in the Randwick Guineas.
The Darley-owned Galah (Redoute’s Choice – Rinky Dink, by Distorted Humor will be one of a quartet of Peter Snowden-trained runners in the race while Rekindled Alliance (Redoute’s Choice – Rekindled Affair, by Rainbow Quest) will carry Arrowfield Stud’s famous black and yellow diamonds silks.
Below is the full field for the Group 1 Randwick Guineas, which will begin at 4.20pm (AEDST) on Saturday.
||STRIKE THE STARS (NZ)
||DARCI BE GOOD (NZ)
||WILD AND PROUD
||John P Thompson
||SAID COM (NZ)
||OCEAN PARK (NZ)
||MOMENT OF CHANGE
||Peter G Moody
||Barely A Moment
Top-class New Zealander Mufhasa (Pentire – Sheila Cheval, by Mi Preferido) will shoot for his eighth win at the highest level in Saturday’s Group 1 Captain Cook Stakes (1600m) at Trentham.
Mufhasa broke through for his first Australian Group 1 win two starts back in the Toorak Handicap (1600m) at Caulfield in early October before a foot issue prevented the 16-time winner from taking his place in the Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m) in November.
Mufhasa resumed from the slight setback with a brave second to Lady Chaparral (High Chaparral – Images by Gleam Machine) in the Group 3 Tauranga Stakes (1600m). Mufhasa’s trainer Steven McKee said the seven-year-old’s feet issues have settled as the gelding has aged.
“I was happy with him before Tauranga, the foot was no concern, and he’s looking good,” McKee said. “I’ve got no excuses for him and he’s going well.”
“He’s always had little niggles with mainly his front feet over the years, but they’ve all grown out and are more symmetrical and in proportion this year, so he’s been pain free, sounder, and he’s racing accordingly.”
Mufhasa will face nine rivals in the $NZ200,000 event. The Captain Cook Stakes field is below.
|Hold It Harvey
||Tim & Margaret Carter
||Graeme & Debbie Rogerson
Promising gelding Testa My Patience (Testa Rossa – Entente Cordiale, by Jackson Square) became the 38th individual stakes winner for Vinery Stud resident Testa Rossa (Perugino – Bo Dapper, by Sir Dapper) with his impressive win in the Group 2 Crystal Mile (1600m) at Moonee Valley.
Testa My Patience settled just off the speed before outsprinting his opposition to score his seventh win from 14 starts in the $200,000 feature. The five-year-old’s trainer Mick Price said he would give Testa My Patience a shot at Group 1 level.
“He has to go to Flemington in two weeks’ time,” Price said.
“The Emirates (Stakes) so hopefully not too many good milers appear between now and then. He’s definitely a Group 1 chance there.”
Meanwhile, Waratah’s Secret (Oratorio – Blissfully, by Zabeel) earned the 10th stakes win for Mungrup Stud-based sire Oratorio (Stravinsky – Express A Smile, by Success Express) with a hard-fought success in the Group 3 Prince Of Wales Stakes (1200m) at Ascot.
The David Harrison-trained five-year-old had a long head to spare over the consistent Grand Nirvana (Scenic – Paradise Park, by Bletchley Park).
Coolmore Stud’s Oratorio (Danehill – Mahrah, by Vaguely Noble) also produced a winner at Ascot when the promising two-year-old Miss Solis (Oratorio – Longoria, by Lujain) won the Westspeed 2YO Plate (1000m).
Warwick Farm trainer Ron Leemon described Manawanui’s (Oratorio (Ire) – Lady Remlap, by Filante) effort to win the Group 2 Moonee Valley Vase (2040m) as “easy to watch”.
Manawanui faced five moderately-performed rivals in the $200,000 feature. The son of Oratorio (Danehill – Mahrah, by Vaguely Noble) settled back in the field before simply cruising around those ahead of him from the 500 metres to record a soft win.
The hit-out did little to determine if Manawanui would stay a solid 2500 metres in Saturday week’s Group 1 Victoria Derby at Flemington but Leemon said the gelding did enough to convince him of his staying ability.
“All things being equal he should be there next week. I’ll wait to talk to Glyn and see how he felt about him but just looking at it myself I think he should be there,” Leemon said.
“I think he has matured a little bit. I think he’s grown a little bit but he’s still got a fair bit of development to do.
“We wanted to try to make him settle. I’ve always said he will settle because of the way he works and he’s done well and he’s done what I’d like him to do at this stage.”
Collar (O’Reilly – Laebeel, by Zabeel) finished second while Scelto (Pentire – Our Discretion, by Twig Moss) battled into third spot.
Homecoming Queen (2 f Holy Roman Emperor – Lagrion, by Diesis) ran out the easy four and a quarter length winner of the Listed, Lanwades & Staffordstown Stud Stakes for two-year-old fillies over a mile at the Curragh on Sunday.
Like her sire, Homecoming Queen is trained by Aidan O’Brien and she came home alone to defeat Absolute Crackers (Giant’s Causeway) with Ronan’s Bay (Johannesburg) another two and a half lengths away in third.
Homecoming Queen is a half-sister to multiple Group 1 winner Dylan Thomas (Danehill) who has done well with his first-crop two-year-olds in Europe this season and whose first-crop are about to hit the track in Australia.
Coolmore stallions were on the mark in Italy on Sunday where Temida (Oratorio) won the 2000m Group 3 ¬†Premio Verziere Memorial Aldo Cirla defeating Toi et Moi (Galileo) by half a length and Choisir Shadow (Choisir) running out the three-length winner of the Listed, Criterium Nazionale over 1200m, both races in Milan.
Manawanui (3 g Oratorio [Ire] – Lady Remlap, by Filante) had little than an exercise gallop in yesterday‚Äôs Group 2 Stan Fox Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill. Manawanui raced into the lead from the start and then made all the running to score an effortless win. Roma Gioconda (Magic Albert) ran on in the straight for second.
“He did what he wanted and we got the job done,‚Äù Schofield said. “Nothing more or nothing less than I wanted from him. I had a look at the big screen at about the 100 and then let him shut down but he towed me right to the line.‚Äù
Manawanui will now head to Melbourne for the Caulfield Guineas. “I don‚Äôt think he‚Äôll have a problem.” Schofield said, “You never know until after they do it under race pressure but we can go down there with plenty of confidence in this horse. He‚Äôs handled everything we‚Äôve thrown at him and he‚Äôs got a great ability to adapt.”
Trainer Ron Leemon was satisfied with Manawanui, for whom he paid $45,000 for as a yearling at the inglis Classic Yearling Sale. ‚ÄúThat was an easy run for him and just what I wanted. He‚Äôll be the fresh horse on the scene when we get down to Melbourne‚Äù.
Manawanui scored an emotional win in a sensational running of the $1 million Group 1 Tooheys New Golden Rose (1400m) at Rosehill on Saturday.
Having convinced his fellow part-owners to pay the $50,000 late entry fee to run in the race, trainer Ron Leemon won¬†his first ever Group One race when Manawanui (3 g Oratorio – Lady Remlap, by Filante)¬†beat the flying Smart Missile (Fastnet Rock) with Foxwedge third past the post but losing the minor place in the stewards’ room when Kerrin McEvoy on Helmet (Exceed And Excel) protested over interference caused at the 600m marker.
‚ÄúIt‚Äôs amazing,‚Äù Leemon, who paid $45,000 for Manawanui as a yearling at the Inglis Classic Sale, said. ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs tremendous, it‚Äôs a dream come true, a great thrill. I‚Äôve got the winner and I am so please for everybody associated with the stable, it‚Äôs tremendous. We have battled but we‚Äôve got there,‚Äù Leemon said. ‚ÄúI am, along with my wife Gaye and the other connections, who are all new to the stable, are chasing our dream. Why not enjoy it at our stage of life.‚Äù
Glyn Schofield was a happy jockey. ‚ÄúI said to Ronnie ‚ÄòI don‚Äôt mind leading on this horse‚Äô, it didn‚Äôt really matter what scenario worked out for us, as long as I had a margin between myself and the rest and I knew this fella doesn‚Äôt stop,‚Äù Schofield said. ‚ÄúThe way he picked up on a heavy track at his first start back, he was always going to show a lot of speed on a dry and firmer surface today.
‚ÄúI must pay tribute to Ron, the poor fella has been a bag of nerves, he has been in racing such a long time and is such a great man, to finally get a horse of this calibre and to do everything right with all the pressure around him, he deserves all the accolades.‚Äù
Only the dual Group 1-winning three-year-old Helmet (Exceed And Excel – Accessories, by Singspiel) stands in the way of a Coolmore Stud stallion siring the winner of Saturday’s Group 1 Golden Rose (1400m) at Rosehill.
Australia’s first Group 1 race of the 2011/12 season attracted a disappointing number of just six runners with Coolmore Stud sires providing five of the competitors.
The unbeaten colt Smart Missile (Fastnet Rock – Comical Smile, by Comic Strip) and the exciting colt Foxwedge (Fastnet Rock – Forest Wildcat, by Forest Wildcat) lead the charge for the Hunter Valley operation.
The connections of Manawanui (Oratorio (IRE) – Lady Remlap, by Filante) paid a $55,000 late entry fee to run the Group 3 Up And Coming Stakes (1300m) winner in the $1 million event. Aeronautical (Encosta De Lago – Moon Fever, by Fusaichi Pegasus) and Flight Of Pegasus (Fusaichi Pegasus – Flight Of Dreams, by Flying Spur) make up the rest of the field.
||Exceed And Excel
||Encosta De Lago
||Flight Of Pegasus