Gold Coast trainer Michael Costa has sent out fifteen winners from his last fifty runners … a strike rate of thirty percent which places him up with the best of them on the strike-rate table.
Those fifteen winners came via the efforts of no less nine different individual horses underlining the spread of talent Costa has in the stable.
Leading that charge has been the five-year-old mare Willo Titto who currently has a run of four successive victories behind her name. She started off that sequence with a win in a Benchmark 58, carrying 61.5kg over 2190m. In her subsequent three runs she has stepped up to Benchmark 65, Benchmark 72 and Benchmark 75 races, taking every step in her stride.
During that time Costa did bring Willo Titto back in distance from that 2190m to firstly 1800m (twice) and then all the way back to 1690m … and she never missed a beat.
Costa explains the methodology behind the Pierro’s mares run of success.
“The reason why it might look like a somewhat disjointed prep in terms of race distances is that, while we were testing the water a little bit, one of the main focusses of our stable is to place the horses the best way we can,’ explained Costa. “We do the form in a way where we are placing our horses in the most winnable races.
“That is the core basis of having the strike-rate high because we spend a lot of time focussing on doing the work so we can place them right … and the reason why Willo Totto went up to 2190 is that we thought the race was extremely weak and that was the right race to test the water
“She duly won that … but I feel that her pet distance is in that mile to 1800m range.”
“There does come a time though with progressive horses, as is the case now with Willo Titto, when the aim of being able to place her in particular races to her advantage pretty much goes out of the window and you have to throw them in the deep end a little bit because we’ve used that friendship up as much as we can with the weight, so we have to take the plunge and see what happens.”
“Even if she doesn’t step up to that level … she has definitely achieved a few goals since arriving in our stable.”
Costa was referring to Willo Titto’s next run which will be her first Metro Saturday assignment at Doomben on Saturday where she will looking to extend that winning sequence.
Willo Titto runs in race 9 at Doomben, a 68 Benchmark Handicap over 1640m.
Costa has three other entries at Doomben on Saturday … backed up by another three runners at the Gold Coast … his home track.
Costa’s comments on the Doomben runners:
OLYMPIC CLASS (who won on debut over 1400m and now goes to a QTIS 3yo Handicap over 1640m):
“I know there wasn’t a lot of depth in that Maiden field, but he drew the outside alley. We thought, more than likely, the way his trials had gone he would be getting back and running on … but he jumped with them and pulled himself up to outside the lead.
“They went along at a decent clip and his sectionals from the 400m to the 200m and from the 200m to the finish line, when he was easing up, were very strong. It was a dominant win.
“He has definitely improved … I’d say our horses generally improve twenty percent after their first-up run, so, with that under his belt he certainly deserves a shot at heading for town.”
FAR REACHING (who is making his debut in a QTIC 2yo Handicap over 1100):
“He is a colt who is quite professional. He’s had a good couple of jump-outs under his belt. He did bomb the start in a trial on Tuesday, but he made good ground in a slowly run trial which I thought was nice.
“You get like a liquorice allsorts with the two-year-olds … you don’t know what you are going to get with these form-lines … you’ve got nothing to go on … so, you just go into the race hoping you’ve got your horse well and you just have to wait to see how it all unfolds.
“He did get a glowing report from Baylee Nothdurft about the feel he got in the trial. So, if he continues to tick over nicely for the rest of the week, we will send him off to the races on Saturday.
SEENTOOMANY (who races third-up having finished unplaced in his last two starts):
“Her runs haven’t been as bad as they look on paper. She got skittled a few times and it just seems that she is looking for that increase in distance this preparation.
“She obviously does have to improve. She does get a bit wound up with pre-race testing and she gets a bit disorientated with that … but, look, she is still working well at home.
“Like I said, she definitely needs to improve but I think that once she gets over ground we will see that improvement.
“I wouldn’t write her off yet.”
In closing Michael Costa was happy to give an update on Supergiant who won the Group 3 Gunsynd and finished second in the Group 3 Rough Habit during the Queensland Winter Racing Carnival.
Supergiant had a brief spell after the carnival and then emerged for a three race prep in which he faired to fire at anywhere close to his true ability.
“After his last run he pulled up lame,” said Costa. “We had a few hoof issues throughout the prep but then he developed a corn. He then stepped on the clip of the shoe under his foot and he was really lame so he was sent to the paddock.
“It was not a great prep, his first on the back from the Winter Carnival. He went out after the Winter carnival for just a short spell. He hasn’t had a good spell since arriving from New Zealand so he is going to have a good eight weeks this time around … and then we’ll just start again.
“Hopefully, we can get him back to his best because he just wasn’t quite right the whole of that last prep.”