It’s case of so far so good, but Adelaide trainer Tony McEvoy is prepared for the long haul before he raises his expectations of his French import Mouro.
McEvoy bought the four-year-old with a group of four horses after watching him race in Toulouse, where he was second first-up, and in the Pyrenean town of Pau, where he won.
After two runs and two wins in South Australia against modest opposition, Mouro is having his horizons broadened with a trip to Moonee Valley where he will race in an open handicap event over 1600 metres on Saturday.
On paper his form looks impressive but McEvoy says Mouro is embarking on a long journey.
“I think he should run okay, although it’s up in class for him,” McEvoy said.
“The competition will be much stronger so it’s more about giving him a trip to Melbourne and letting him have a look at it all.
“We want to see how he travels and learn more about him before the winter.”
Mouro was bought as a stayer and to date is displaying all the right signs.
“Obviously I’d love him to win but he’s not anywhere near his distance yet so we can’t be expecting too much.
“I think he’s a very promising young horse and I’m really looking forward to getting him out to further distances next time,” McEvoy said.
When he returns to Adelaide Mouro will be spelled before returning to step up in distance in the autumn.
“I expect him to get to another good level in a year’s time for sure,” McEvoy said.
There was nothing remarkable at first sight about Mouro, according to McEvoy, but he is not ruling out the horse developing into something a little more than just handy.
“He’s grown and developed. He’s a kind animal towards his work and he looks very honest and loves his racing in the short time we’ve had him.
“He hasn’t really got the pedigree of a superstar and they are often a bit out of our league – but you never know with horses,” McEvoy said.
“There are lots of variables.”