Costa at the heart of Jebel Ali's most dominant racing season in years

Resident handler continues to churn out winners by the bucket load as he complete another four-timer

By Leslie Wilson Jr.

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Sadaaty wins the Al Soufouh Stakes sponsored by Shadwell . - Photo by Aladiyat Racing Plus
Sadaaty wins the Al Soufouh Stakes sponsored by Shadwell . - Photo by Aladiyat Racing Plus

Published: Sun 17 Dec 2023, 2:15 AM

The Michael Coasta roadshow just keeps getting better and better each week.

On Saturday, the Australian handler from the Gold Coast, saddled another smashing quartet of winners in the famous yellow silks of Jebel Ali Stables at an afternoon’s racing highlighted by several standout performances.

One of those was delivered by a young horse who was making his career debut.

But, from the performance Ya Yetal produced in the Two-Year-Old Stakes Sponsored by Commercial Bank of Dubai, you would never have thought so.

He ran like a pro and sent out a massive message to his rivals in the juvenile ranks.

Ridden by Ben Coen, who was only on board because horse racing demands that a jockey is in the saddle during a race, Ya Yetal screamed up the daunting Jebel Ali Racecourse straight to cross the line 13 ½ lengths clear of runner-up Million Doro.

This is reportedly the longest winning margin in Jebel Ali racing history by any horse owned by Major General Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Deputy Chief of Dubai Police and Public Security, and owner of the racecourse.

Ya Yetal was sired by a relatively new Canadian stallion, Flameaway, who is a shining light among leading freshman sires in North America.

Racing fans were in for another treat when Sadaaty effortlessly dusted the cobwebs off to win the featured Al Soufouh Stakes sponsored by Shadwell in dominant fashion.

The four-year-old Munnings colt, who was returning to action after a 631-day absence won by a length and a quarter from teammate Meshtri.

“He has surpassed all expectations in his first run (back),” said Costa. “He’s a horse that we didn’t get to the races last year and horses generally need that first head up. He ran well although he did not have fitness under his belt.

“He seems to like this track. We may stretch his out to a mile and see if we can get him in a handy race around this track

“We bought him at the Keeneland sales last year. He was picked on type as he looked like a cool horse,” added Costa. “He had wide eyes and a big white patch. We ran him in this race because there’s the 1400m prelude coming up in a couple of weeks.

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“He was underdone today, probably only about 80 per cent wound up so I wasn’t expecting that result. There’s a lot of fitness improvement to come. We’ll just go to the prelims and see where we go from there,” added the in-form Australian handler, who is in his second season as resident trainer at the historic racetrack that was founded in 1990.

Costa’s other two winners on the day were Kal Barg (Maiden Stakes Sponsored by Al and Keffaaf (Emirates NBD Cup for Maidens).


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