Cox Plate hopeful Mourinho may provide a lifeline to a young cancer sufferer. Photo: Getty Images
Cox Plate candidate Mourinho will not only be carrying the hopes of his owners and trainers when he contests the great race on Saturday.
The eight-year-old gelding, prepared by the Moe-based Gelagotis brothers, trainer Peter and stable manager Manny, will also be providing a potential lifeline to a young cancer sufferer who is trying to raise $800,000 to fund treatment for his debilitating disease in the US.
Connections are "selling" a part ownership for the day for Mourinho's Cox Plate tilt to help raise cash for Joey Lynch, a 23-year-old Melbourne man who has been battling Hodgkins lymphoma for the past seven years.
The Lower Templestowe man has exhausted all treatment options in Australia, and his only hope now remains an expensive experimental trial program in the US.
The Gelagotis brothers, both former soccer players, have known Lynch's father, Age soccer and racing writer Michael Lynch, for about 20 years. They are auctioning an ownership experience in their galloper to help the fundraising effort being run by CanTeen, the Australian organisation for teenagers and young people suffering from cancer.
"Both of us have known Michael for a long time and his writing on both football, which we love, and racing, which we also love and is now our main activity," Manny Gelagotis said.
"He has written about us plenty of times and we want to try to put something back and help out in this awful situation. Mourinho is in great shape and we are really hopeful he will run a big race, so anyone who buys the ownership experience for the day will have a great time."
Moonee Valley, where the Cox Plate is run, will also be offering Premium Dining for two for whoever tops the auction.
The "owner" will be able to join connections in the mounting yard, talk to the jockey and be part of the team for the whole day.
Michael Lynch is Joey Lynch's father.