Gold Coast trainer Michael Costa is making a habit of hit-and-run missions to New South Wales, now he is looking to perfect the craft when he throws Phobetor straight into the deep end at Randwick on Saturday.
Training in the form of his life, Costa is buoyed by a hot streak which saw him win in Sydney with Seentoomany at $31 in June before taking out the Grafton Cup with Purrfect Deal.
However, it is the horse he ran second with in the time-honoured Ramornie Handicap that has him shooting for the stars in the Group 2 Missile Stakes with Phobetor.
It will be just Costa’s second Group 2 runner as he looks to land the biggest win of his career.
“We have had a bit of luck going down to Sydney of late,” he said.
“We thought we’d throw him right in the deep end this week after that Ramornie run to see what is there.
“The Covid restrictions have made it a bit difficult, we can’t send any of our staff down and I like to be a hands-on trainer so that makes it a bit harder.
“The girl that looks after him is probably doing it tougher than me at the moment but he is with Bjorn Baker down there so we are sure they will do a great job.
“When these guys come up during the carnival or Magic Millions, we are always trying to help them out with boxes here so it is good to get the favour repaid when we send some down their way.”
Trainer Michael Costa is looking to land his biggest win yet. Picture: Glenn HampsonSource:News Corp Australia
With 44 boxes on the Gold Coast, Costa finds himself in the same position as many trainers in Queensland – searching for more boxes.
“The majority of our stock are just young horses so we’re sweating on some more boxes because we want to jump up that level to 50-something horses,” he said.
“We finished in the top 50 trainers in the country with the best winning strike rate in the country and last year we were in the top five as well.
“There are a million variables that go into getting horses to go but for us it is about placing them as best you can and running them when they’re going well. If we don’t think they’re well, we don’t run them.”
Jumping from barrier two under Tommy Berry in a small field, Phobetor is rated a $7 chance by TAB.
“He is going extremely well, he will run up to his best just being an up and comer there just isn’t enough data to say where he stacks up to these very good horses because he has never been in this mix before,” Costa said.
Originally published asIn-form Costa shoots for the stars in Missile
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