Avontuur’s world class stallion Oratorio was once again in the news on Saturday when his tough-as-teak son Mourinho landed the G1 Hyland Race Colours Underwood Stakes at Caulfield.
In the process, Mourinho, winning the first G1 race of his career, became his champion sire’s seventh individual G1 winner.
Back in the care of original trainer Peter Gelagotis, Mourinho was given a superb ride by Vlad Duric who allowed his mount to drift to the centre of the track during the closing stages of the 1800m event and the pair kept going to deny favourite and triple G1 winner Fawnker (whose wins include the 2013 G1 Caulfield Cup), with “the people’s horse”, The Cleaner back in third. The latter had previously beaten Mourinho last time out in the G2 Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes, and revenge was clearly sweet for the ever green Mourinho.
The eight-year-old has now won 11 of 38 outings and has amassed more than AUS$1.331 million in prize money.
A tilt at Australia’s greatest WFA race, the G1 Cox Plate, next month appears on the cards for Mourinho, controversially eliminated from the same race last year.
“He just had the peach run and he came into the race when we pleased,” Duric said.
“He nearly threw it away the bugger again when he running off the track but God bless him, he’s a warrior and I wrote him off a bit today but I’m just really proud of him.”
His sire Oratorio, a dual champion sire in Italy, has sired over 40 stakes winners to date, including champions Military Attack and Banchee, classic winners Biz The Nurse and Cherry Collect and G1 winners Beethoven and Manawanui.
The former European champion is set to be represented by his first South African born yearlings in 2016, where Oratorio’s first crop includes siblings to star performers Chesalon, Contador, Guiness, and Jackson, to name but a few.