While the majority of trainers are heading north for the Brisbane summer carnival, Michael Costa is bucking the trend and sending Purffect Deal in the opposite direction.
The Queensland mare is due to arrive in Sydney late this week ahead of her assignment in the Listed Christmas Cup (2400m) at Randwick on Saturday.
It will be the daughter of Dundeel’s most serious test but with four wins from six starts, the most recent when she overcame a chequered passage to surge clear at Doomben, Costa figures she deserves a shot.
“This is her first serious prep and she’s handling it well,” Costa said.
“This race, being at the back-end of her prep, we’ll have a roll of the dice to try to get some black-type.
“We’re throwing her in the deep end but it’s the right sort of race to do that.”
A $16,000 yearling purchase, Purrfect Deal won her first start but suffered a minor muscle tear while being prepared for her next campaign.
It was another year before the diminutive mare raced again but she has been making up for lost time.
“There’s not too much of her, she only weights 430 kilos so she’s quite a neat little filly but her old man wasn’t the biggest stallion in the world either,” Costa said.
“She’s always had quite a good turn of foot and as we’ve seen this prep, the further she goes the better she gets.”
Costa has been enjoying a superb run in his own right and has a winning strike rate of 27 per cent this season.
He has saddled up 14 winners from his past 50 starters and as a former Sydney steward and trainer, he is no stranger to Randwick.
“We’ve had a few hit-and-run missions of late and been successful with them so hopefully this can be another one,” Costa said.
Purrfect Deal will have nine rivals, including the Richard Litt-trained Morton’s Fork who is shooting for back-to-back wins.