Courtesy of Racing Victoria - 23/08/14. Mourinho and Hvasstan secure memorable result for popular Moe trainer
Moonee Valley racegoers should prepare to see a bit of Mourinho and Hvasstan this Spring Racing Carnival.
The Peter Gelagotis-trained pair affirmed their love for the unique circuit when they fought out the $80,000 Sportingbet Handicap (1500m) that rounded out the Moonee Valley card.
Mourinho, a winner of three earlier events at the track including last year's JRA Cup, scored by three-quarters-of-a-length from Hvasstan, who won a support race on Cox Plate Day last year.
It was the first run back for both and Gelagotis said their campaigns had been geared around races at the track.
"They're both Moonee Valley specialists, they've proven that," the Moe trainer said. "Their form works around this track really well, so we're going to try and keep them here as much as we can over the next few meetings that they've got coming up here.
"Hopefully we can pick a couple of nice wins off with each horse."
Mourinho benefitted from a crack Craig Newitt ride to get home for the sixth win of his 27-start career.
Newitt settled Mourinho ($20) just behind the speed before edging off the back of leader Fast And Free entering the straight to claim the lead and hold off the challenge of his stablemate, a $41 chance who also enjoyed an economical rails run.
Gelagoitis said he would have preferred not to run his stable stars against each other, but given he had to a quinella was the best result.
"It's tough having two of your best horses having to compete against each other but sometimes you've got to do that," he said.
"On the other side of it, I've never quinellaed a decent Saturday in my career and it's fantastic to do so.
"They've been working along together this time in the whole time and there hasn't been skerrick between them and they've brought it to the races. It's very fulfilling."
Hvasstan finished 1-3/4 lengths clear of third placegetter The United States ($11), who charged home down the outside the claim third in an encouraging return for Team Williams.
The United States was the best of Macedon Lodge's two runners with Foundry, who was well backed from $6 in to start the $4.60 favourite, settling last and failing to make any impression over the concluding stages.
Dual Oaks placegetters Zanbagh settling midfield, a position she occupied throughout, finishing ninth, while St Jean was solid in sixth and Darren Weir-trained import Mobaco 13th.
The full result of the Sportingbet Handicap is available here
By Brad Bishop - @bradbishop12