Courtesy of TVN - Carl Di Iorio - 24/01/15. The Moonee Valley specialists came to the fore in Saturday's $200,000 Group 2 Jeep Australia Stakes (1200m) under weight-for-age conditions with Mourinho surviving a protest to defeat last season's Australia Stakes third placegetter It Is Written.
Dissident was sent out a $1.85 favourite to win the race with Mourinho the $31 outsider. Only Blackie ($61) and Audino ($101) started a longer quote.
But the seven-year-old gelding trained at Moe by Peter Gelagotis and ridden by Vlad Duric displayed tactical gate speed and then made the most of an inside run approaching the home turn to defeat It Is Written ($9.50) by a short neck.
Dissident finished third, a further 1¼ lengths away with Smokin' Joey ($13) finishing fourth.
Matthew Allen, who rode the Robbie Griffiths-trained It Is Written, then lodged a protest against Mourinho for alleged interference around the home turn.
"I was four deep and making up ground and Mourinho was going up the fence, hung out and the hindquarters of my horse was hit," Allen said.
"Mourinho again then pushed Tudor wider and I was taken off my course. Both pieces of interference cost me at least a half-length."
Duric didn't deny Mourinho hung out on the home bend but believed the interference had a greater impact on Hard Stride and that Allen rode his mount out all the way to the line.
Stewards ultimately were unsatisfied the interference cost It is Written his seventh win at the track and Mourinho chalked up his fifth Moonee Valley victory.
Mourinho's win was made even more incredible given he wasn't among the original nominations for the race on Monday.
"Six weeks ago, we said we'll kick him off in the Carlyon Cup, then the Peter Young Stakes and the Australian Cup, just a three run prep," Gelagotis said.
"We trialled him ahead of his first up run and Damien Oliver was aboard him this particular day.
"He came through the trial really well and Ollie told us that he felt good and was very forward and going the right way.
"Then on Monday one of the owners rang us after lunch and said, 'Hey there's only ten nominations for the race would you have a look at it?'
"Me and Manny (Gelagotis) then sat down and thought, 'Why not? Throw him in (as a late nomination) because if he's not in he can't run.
"On Wednesday the horse was feeling well and I thought 'let's roll the dice, what have we got to lose?'
"If he was going to trial at Cranbourne it was going to cost us $300 to lug him there and it was $4000 for running eighth in this race.
"I thought if we run eighth he wouldn't be disgraced and we've got money in the bank.
"Anything can happen in racing when you've got a good horse!"
Whilst Mourinho avoided the $300 cost of going to Cranbourne for a trial by coming to Moonee Valley this afternoon, the son of Oratorio must trial to the satisfaction of stewards after hanging out once again on the home bend.
He received a warning from stewards for his waywardness following his Cranbourne Cup win last October.
Mourinho has raced 32 times for eight wins and as many placings with $804,997 in prizemoney.