Dubai World Cup: Costa happy to have a genuine contender on the big night

Mouheeb will compete in the Golden Shaheen


Leslie Wilson Jr

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Mouheeb. — ERA
Mouheeb. — ERA

Published: Sat 18 Mar 2023, 11:50 PM

Last updated: Sat 18 Mar 2023, 11:52 PM

Australian handler Michael Costa, who has enjoyed a groundbreaking first season in the UAE as a chief trainer at Jebel Ali Stables, is all set to saddle an exciting sprinter at next Saturday’s Dubai World Cup meeting.

But not without the help of the swimming pool at his sprawling yard across the road from the iconic Dubai Marina.

Michael Costa. — Facebook
Michael Costa. — Facebook

He has saddled 14 winners since he took charge at the end of last year and now has a chance to put the cherry on the top should Mouheeb reproduce the performance that saw him produce two good efforts on the Meydan dirt.

The first of these was in December when he landed the Garhoud Sprint before he followed it up with another huge display of sprint to finish third to the UAE’s star sprinter Switzerland.

Costa, who has been a breath of fresh air to the beleaguered Jebel Ali Stables, which has had to endure some tough times including racetrack criticism, is quietly optimistic of a good run from Mouheeb.

“We had a few hiccups leading into his last run where we had his to train him in an unorthodox fashion due to an injury he picked up,” said the Australian. “We had to swim him for a month leading up to that race where he was fairly underdone.

“But he ran really well and we’re very happy since. His lead-up to the Golden Shaheen has been flawless and spot on so we're extremely pleased.”

Commenting on his maiden season in the UAE Costa said: “Statistically we have done really well with regard to the strike rate.

"It's been a good start but I have that burning desire to have a lot of success now that we have settled down a bit.”

Asked what were the expectations leading into the Dubai World Cup meeting, Costa commented: “There’s nothing worse than sitting on the couch with a runner when you have a big race meeting like that. So it’s great to be going there with a genuine contender.

“I only like to go to the races if we think we’ve got a chance. So, it is going to be exciting to watch how the race unfolds and how Mouheeb runs.”

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