Trainer Peter Gelagotis celebrated his first group success after lightly-raced three-year-old Mourinho won today's $150,000 Group Three Cadbury Tasmanian Derby (2200m) at Hobart.
Ridden to perfection by Anthony Darmanin, Mourinho settled just behind the speed established by Stella's Rose and Ludka.
The pace of the race continued to slacken as the race expired before Darmanin slipped Mourinho more rein to whip around the aforementioned duo and hit the lead shortly after straightening.
Mourinho was never headed from that stage on, dashing away for one of the easiest wins recorded in stakes company this season. Mourinho ($4.50) defeated Heez Born Lucky ($4) by 2-3/4 lengths with Jay Bee's Gee Gee ($58.70) a further short neck away in third. The Lee Freedman-trained Ludka ($3.80 fav) weakened badly to finish seventh.
"I thought he had the race won a long way from home," Gelagotis told TasRacing. "They (the leaders) dropped anchor but he is a real relaxed horse, they were pulling in front and burning petrol."
"He switched off beautifully and when he (Darmanin) took off and rounded them up they were all gasping for air and he won real soft I thought. "He's got a real bright future."
Mourinho will now be sent for a spell and Gelagotis intends to target a couple of country cups next season with the son of Oratorio. "He's definitely a nice country cups type horse back in Victoria should he continue to make that natural progression."
Purchased for $36,000 from the 2009 Inglis Classic Yearling Sale, Mourinho has raced six times for three wins and a placing with prizemoney in excess of $150,000 in prizemoney.