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Image: Graham Potter
The Catch gave Michael Costa the perfect send-off at Doomben

The Catch, Dubai-bound Michael Costa’s last runner in Australia, gave the young trainer the perfect send-off when he completed a hat trick of wins at Doomben on Wednesday.

The future beckons brightly for Costa who will shortly relocate to Dubai where he will take on the privileged challenge of becoming the personal trainer to Sheikh Ahmed bin Rashid al Maktoum in Dubai.

For jockey Jag Guthmann-Chester, who has been an integral part of Costa’s success on the riding front since Costa moved to the Gold Coast, the super-charged emotion of bringing home the final winner for the stable was clear for all to see when he dismounted from The Catch.

This was no ordinary win and it came with a heartfelt salute from the saddle as The catch crossed the line.

“I am going to tear up,” said Guthmann-Chester unashamedly.

“Michael has been great to me.

“I rode my first metropolitan winner for him. In the last twenty-four months he has arguably been my biggest supporter. I rode many winners for him. It’s been super … and I just wish him and his family all of the best.”

While Costa jets off to a new beginning, Guthmann-Chester is hopeful that he can continue holding his own amidst his change of circumstances.

“I am sure that what Michael has done for me will open up more opportunities,” said Guthmann-Chester.

“I’ve got a good association with several of Michael’s horses … like The Catch (who Guthmann-Chester has partnered in four out of his five career wins), but I’m not certain how all of that will work out in terms of where all of where some of the individual horses are going to be placed now.

“Annabel (Neasham) has taken over a lot of them.

“I still ride a lot of work there … and I rode two winners for her on Saturday at the Sunshine Coast (Beauty Boom and Read My Future) … so that’s a good start.”

Guthmann-Chester, in fact, rode a treble at the Sunshine Coast, also scoring on Blue Kentucky Moon a former Costa trained horse, who gave Michael Morrison … who had been Costa’s trusted foreman … his first winner as a trainer in his own right.

A thirty percent winning strike-rate from his last fifty runners (fifteen wins) underlines the quality of Guthmann-Chester’s riding skills … and the chances are very strong that his record and his possible wider availability with Costa’s departure will not go unnoticed and that opening up of ‘more opportunities,’ which Guthmann-Chester mentioned, will be a likely and well deserved outcome.

 
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