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Gold Coast trainer Michael Costa managed to fend off a host of big Sydney stables on route to seeing his runner and favourite win the Grafton Cup in country New South Wales

Michael Costa wins the Grafton Cup

Costa’s runner Purrfect Deal was able to hold on from the late challenges to take out the $200,000 staying feature at Grafton.

Going into the race as favourite, Purrfect Deal held off the fast finishing Laure Me In, Parry Sound and the John O’Shea trained Berdibek who just a few days earlier had carried 66kgs in a race at Randwick.

There could well have been a few hard luck stories for those runners and other runners behind the winner however it was a great training performance by the Gold Coast conditioner. 

“I’ve dreamt about winning this race for 13 years so it is a very emotional day,” Costa told Sky Thoroughbred Central’s form expert Gary Kleise.

“Spencer putting the pace in the race enabled Purrfect Deal to get into a ‘sweet’ spot and this mare is just so tough.”

Jockey Ben Thompson gave a great showing aboard the mare who’s win in the cup was her 7th win in 11 starts.

“She is an out and out stayer but she had to earn it today,” Thompson said after the race.

“Although we drew barrier five, I had to use a bit of ‘gas’ but ended up finding the rail. We were following a decent horse (Spencer) and a good jockey in Christian Reith on the leader. She gunned it out really well.”

Purrfect Deal’s win was a great result for trainer Michael Costa after he had seen his runner Phobeter narrowly miss in the Ramornie Handicap a day earlier when Southern Lad collared him late on the line. 

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