Hong Kong-based Australian Brett Prebble has been booked to ride Mourinho in the Cox Plate with his trainer Peter Gelagotis banking on the Cranbourne Cup winner gaining a start.
The Moonee Valley Racing Club committee will decide Mourinho’s fate on Tuesday morning when final acceptances are taken.
The committee has the discretion to leave non-Group One winners out of the field.
Mourinho won the Cranbourne Cup last Sunday week and loves Moonee Valley.
He has won four races at the track, including the JRA Cup last spring, and has been there three times this campaign for an open handicap win, a second in the Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes and third in the JRA Cup, both won by popular frontrunner and Cox Plate starter The Cleaner.
Stable representative Manny Gelagotis confirmed on Twitter Prebble had been engaged to take the ride on Mourinho.
Mourinho and the Gai Waterhouse-trained three-year-old Wandjina have both been paid up as late entries for the $3 million race.
Wandjina finished third in the Caulfield Guineas last start, the same placing as another Snitzel colt, Shamus Award, who stunned his rivals by winning the 2013 Cox Plate.
Cox Plate hopes for import Crackerjack King are over with the stable confirming he is out for the spring.
Nine horses in Cox Plate contention will gallop at Moonee Valley on Tuesday morning.
Chris Waller has Sacred Falls, Royal Descent, Foreteller and He’s Your Man down to gallop with Cox Plate decisions expected to be made on the latter two after their work.
New Zealand mare Silent Achiever, Australian Derby winner Criterion, and three-year-olds Almalad, Wandjina and Sweynesse are also among the 46 horses scheduled to work.
Irish horse Adelaide is expected to have a fast gallop at the Werribee quarantine centre and has been well-supported in recent days to be on the second line of betting at $5.50 behind Fawkner.
“The money for Adelaide has been relentless and there’s a very good chance now that he will start favourite on the day,” Sportingbet’s Andrew Brown said.
The Cleaner, trained by Mick Burles at Longford in Tasmania, has earned his place and will be ridden by Steven Arnold who has been aboard for his past two victories.
“He’s in really good form, racing well at the Valley,” Arnold said.
“I suppose the query is if he’s good enough, but we know he’ll be out the front bowling along and I think he’ll give a really good sight.”