Manny Gelagotis says Mourinho’s third in the Peter Young Stakes justifies him putting his “head on the block”.
Gelagotis has been fined over social media and radio comments criticising the decision to let Mourinho run a fortnight ago after he had been kicked before a race.
Last year’s winner Mourinho had to settle for third behind Bow Creek and Fenway in the Group Two Peter Young Stakes at Caulfield on Saturday.
But Gelagotis said the horse was back on track heading into the Group One Australian Cup at Flemington in a fortnight.
Gelagotis, the racing manager for his brother Peter, said the eight-year-old had no luck early and that probably cost him a chance at winning.
“Obviously with what happened last start it’s pleasing to see him under pressure compete and get back to his rightful form,” he told AAP.
“It’s a big relief from my perspective because I obviously put my own head on the block in terms of being critical of the processes of why he shouldn’t have run last start, and today justifies our horsemanship and our experience in terms of what should have happened.”
Gelagotis was fined $2000, $1000 of which was suspended for 12 months, after venting his anger that Mourinho was allowed to start after being kicked behind the barriers before the CF Orr Stakes at Caulfield on February 13.
After racing in a forward position, Mourinho weakened in the straight, beating just one runner home in the race won by Suavito.
Gelagotis said Saturday’s run justified his criticism, adding the stable and the owners still wanted answers.
“My owners have questioned the legitimacy of what happened and they’re entitled to an investigation. They never got that.”
Gelagotis has lodged an appeal after Racing Victoria stewards on Thursday found him guilty of improper or insulting language towards an official.
“The horse, in our view, he obviously should not have run, and there were processes and things that in the context of it all that let down my owners and the punters.”