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Costa chasing first Stakes win in Qld with Manaya in Gai Waterhouse Classic.

By Glenn Davis

Gold Coast trainer Michael Costa is hopeful talented mare Manaya can give him a breakthrough Stakes win in Queensland in the Gai Waterhouse Classic at Ipswich on Saturday.

Manaya is second favourite at $4.20 in the 1350-metre Listed feature behind $2.90 favourite, Organza.

Manaya made headlines with her last start win at the Gold Coast on June 8 after her bridle snapped at the 800 metres.

“I thought her saddle slipped because she just took off at the 800 metres,” Costa said.

“It was a difficult ride for Jag (Guthmann-Chester) and luckily it was her home track as she knew where to go.

“She even knew where the crossing was and where to pull up as she gallops there every Tuesday.”

Costa has been placed twice in Stakes races in Queensland with Quelle Liaison and Malahide.

Quelle Liaison ran third to The Virginian in the Listed Chief Be Beers at Doomben in May, 2017 while Malahide was runner-up to the Team Snowden-trained Signore Fox in the Listed Daybreak Lover at Eagle Farm last Saturday.

Costa has been based at the Gold Coast for nearly three years after beginning at Warwick Farm in Sydney and has 45 horses on his books, including more than 20 yearlings.

He was the original trainer of Golden Slipper winner She Will Reign before making the surprise decision to part company with her to move to the Gold Coast.

Costa had originally planned to target the Group 2 Dane Ripper Stakes and Group 1 Tatt’s Tiara during the winter with Manaya before she suffered a setback in March.

“She contracted a minor virus which put her behind a week and we ran out of time getting her ready for those races,” Costa said.

Manaya, a half-sister to former top mare Hot Danish, was a $65,000 buy at the Inglis Easter Sales in Sydney.

She has already proven to be a great money spinner earning almost $300,000 from six wins and five placings in 22 starts.

Hot Danish was a dual Group One winner in the All Aged Stakes and Doomben 10,000 in 2010 and won more than $2.3 million in prizemoney with 16 wins and nine placings from 32 starts.

“She’s already a valuable broodmare and she’s only just hitting her straps now,” Costa said.

“She takes everything in her stride so I’m expecting her to run well.”

Racing Queensland webnews  June 14