Gold Coast trainer Michael Costa has had a good season but his hunt for a headline horse could be over with two-year-old filly Malahide.
Giving Costa the first leg of a winning double, Malahide ($5.50) finished strongly to beat Pennino ($6.50) by 1-3/4 lengths Cyrstal Slipper (1200m) at Doomben on Saturday.
Gold Coast-based Costa has trained 39 winners this season after training 15 in 2016-17.
Costa is generally regarded as a rising star of the Queensland training ranks.
He is best known for giving up 2017 Golden Slipper winner She Will Reign when he moved to Queensland two years ago.
“I don’t regret the move at all and things have been going well. I just need a headline horse and Malahide could be it,” Costa said.
“She beat the older mares at the Gold Coast at her first start and then she has won this $175,000 race today. She can go for a holiday now and then come back as a three year old.”
Costa paid $85,000 for Malahide, a daughter of Cox Plate winner Shamus Award and her win on Saturday lifted her prize money to $118,000.
Top Sydney jockey Blake Shinn reignited his association with Costa when well-bred Manaya scored a decisive win.
Shinn turned in a near perfect ride to bring Manaya ($9.50) with a well-timed run to beat Mr Markou ($9.50).
Shinn had earlier won on Granny Red Shoes in the Winning Edge Stakes.
“Blake used to do a lot of riding for me in Sydney when I was based there,” Costa said.
“I use him whenever I can when he comes up here, he has been a great supporter of the stable.”