Meet The Owners


Our stable can only thrive with the support of our owners and we are extremely grateful for the backing from our owners here at Michael Costa Racing.

I am extremely proud that over the last couple of years we have developed a brand that has gone beyond ownership and created lasting friendships with our clients. Getting winners is great, but it is more enjoyable when we share the wins with our good friends and supporters.

To show our appreciation, we are going to showcase some of our owners and their stories. We hope you enjoy.

– Trainer Michael Costa



BOB AND TERRY YORKE

 

Owners Bob and Terry Yorke (pictured with one of their early runners APPLE THIEF) are in the racing game purely for the ride. And they have had one hell of a journey in a short period of time since joining the Michael Costa Racing family.

Read our Owners Q&A below to hear more about their racing story.

HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED IN RACING?
We’ve owned a few horses over the years. We had some mates that went through a syndicator in Melbourne so we had a few horses down there. That was good fun but it cost an arm and leg to go and watch them. It was definitely dearer to train them down there. The reason we are in the races, it’s a hobby for us. Other people have boats and we just do this.

HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED WITH MCR?
We just wanted to try something different. Michael had posted a few things on social media that had caught my eye and we did some research ourselves. We thought if this bloke was brave enough to drop everything in Sydney and lose a good horse, he’s onto something. We liked his philosophy.  A friend of ours had a horse with him and he sent us some owners reports in relation to his horse. Michael just gives you a bit more drum as far as what’s going on with the horse during the week and that got us in. We knew he had some success with Hinchinbrook’s so we put our toes in the water with Missionary Bay. 

MISSIONARY BAY WINS AT START NO.2

We got out of the blocks pretty easy. We’ve been very lucky. In respect to Missionary Bay we have been patient on one hand. That’s one part of it we’ve enjoyed, there’s been no rush and the horse wasn’t pushed. Missionary Bay ran and won early and then he was involved in the race where a horse fell. He had some time off and Michael gave him a trial and said ‘no, something’s wrong, we’ll get some scans done at a specific place and subsequently put him out.” We don’t know if other trainers would have gone to that level.

HOW MANY HORSES DO YOU HAVE WITH MCR?
It’s a bit boring having just one horse because it can be a long time between drinks so it was our intention to ramp it up a bit and we were looking for something that ran a bit of distance. Then Michael put out a post saying he was going to buy Supergiant and we were on the phone the minute I got it. So we’ve got Missionary Bay, who is 3 starts for 1 win, and Supergiant, who is 3 starts for 2 wins.

SUPERGIANT CLEARS OUT TO MAKE IT 2 WINS FROM 3 STARTS

After the success we’ve had with those two, Terry was as keen on a black horse and we saw the Better Than Ready x Testy, who is by Testa Rossa who we knew from our younger days. We wanted to buy into another horse that we had been waiting for at the Magic Millions sale as we had a share in the mare. But Michael had a look at the x-rays and said I don’t think so, but I’m going to buy this other horse by Spill The Beans x De Lago BloomWhen Michael puts his hand up and says I’ve bought this Spill The Beans and he says it’s going to be good, you’re inside the tent aren’t you?

HOW HAS YOUR EXPERIENCE BEEN WITH MCR?
The win for us has been the whole package. It’s in the communication, it’s part of the show.  Others are good, they send you something every week, but it’s the information within the message that Michael sends you. And also it’s the animal husbandry bit that got us too.

For us, it’s always been about the ride. Other blokes have hobbies with boats and things, we’ve got 4 horses with 5% each and we’re having a great time for $200 per week. For each horse, it costs a carton of beer a week, and you’re always a chance of getting a result.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO FIRST TIME OWNERS?
Buy some small shares and try a couple of trainers. But I think the biggest thing for new people coming in is that they don’t realise you’ve got two deals happening. You’ve got the deal with the trainer, paying a fee to get the horse fit and nominated in the right race. Then separate to that, if you win, you get your share from the race club or Racing QLD/Racing NSW. A lot of people are of the view that all the money goes through the trainer all the time and they are worried they are going to get snipped. But it’s as safe as houses.

With Michael, the money comes out and you know how much it is and you can budget for it. We had a horse with a trainer in Victoria and it won a race at Donald or somewhere and the fees for the month were more than the prize money.

With Michael, you sign an agreement and it’s a set amount each month.

SUPERGIANT WINS ON DEBUT FOR HIS BIG GROUP OF HAPPY OWNERS

HOW WOULD YOU EXPLAIN THE THRILL OF WINNING A RACE?
I was there the day Supergiant had its first start and won. I was with a friend who we’ve tipped into these horses too and there’s an elation for us in sharing the joy. When you’re having the beer after you’ve won, you can feel your blood pressure through the roof. You can feel your heart pumping. But for us, it’s all about sharing the joy.



PAUL HAMMOND

PAUL AND NOELENE HAMMOND AT THE MUDGEE RACES

Owner Paul Hammond has had four horses with Michael Costa Racing for four individual winners and a total of 14 race wins! But it hasn’t been all smooth sailing along the way, and one of his biggest thrills was the maiden win of a horse he thought just might not measure up.

Read our Owners Q&A below to hear more about his racing story.

HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED IN RACING? 
I’ve always been into racing. I had a cousin who introduced me and basically I’ve been going to the races since I was about 6.

HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED WITH MCR?
I was introduced to Michael by a fellow owner John Bell at the local pub in Botany. He had just joined up through Michael and got a horse. So I gave him a call and said “I’ve got another mate that is interested too.” We put in for a 10% share in a horse called Lyrids at the time and then Michael said “why don’t you split it and go 5% in Malkara as well.” In the end, Malkara won 5 races and Lyrids won 3 … and it gets better.

About two years later, he got a horse called Deep Blue Sea. The shares went really quickly so by the time I phoned, it was all gone and I told Michael I just wanted to give my step daughter, Monique, a 5% share. Michael did some ringing around and phoned me the next day to say you can have 5%.

Then Phobetor came up and I introduced a mate of mine Glen Hunt and we said let’s go halves in a 5% share, so 2.5% each. He actually named Phobetor, because Phobetor is by Dream Ahead and Phobetor is the greek god of nightmares. It’s always been a bone of contention about the pronunciation. He won his first race and I said to Glen, “you’re the luckiest bloke around, winning at your first start and you also got to name the horse.”

PHOBETOR WINS ON DEBUT AT THE GOLD COAST

I was having a look at the stats the other day. Out of the four horses I’ve had with Michael, they’ve had 53 starts for 14 wins between them and I’ve had four horses for four winners with Michael!

HOW HAS YOUR EXPERIENCE BEEN WITH MCR?
It’s so professional, he’s just such a professional. The whole set-up, it makes it so attractive with the Central Billing and everything. In 6 years, I’ve never received an extra bill. In fact, I get returns and that’s without taking into account the prize money.

I’m only guided by the horses he buys. Gee he has an eye for a horse and that’s what sold me on Phobetor, they way he described his conformation. That was the real standout one of all the horses I’ve had.

PHOBETOR AFTER WINNING THIS YEAR’S $250K MAGIC MILLIONS RISING STARS

WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST WIN OR BEST MEMORY?
Obviously it was a huge thrill when Phobetor won the $250,000 race the week before Magic Millions but to tell you the truth it was Lyrids’ first win.

I ended up purchasing 10% with my wife Noelene and cousin David. Michael thought he would be a sprinter on breeding but after five starts it wasn’t really working out. At his sixth start he said, “we’re going to throw him in the deep end over 2200m.” I’ve got some friends who are into their breeding and they said “he must be mad this bloke, Northern Meteor’s don’t run 2200m.” Anyway, he won by 6 lengths and we were yelling and screaming that much, we’ve got a hairdressing salon downstairs, and the lady came up and thought it was a domestic violence case.

LYRIDS BRAINS THEM BY 6 LENGTHS TO BREAK HIS MAIDEN AT START NO.6

Then he went to the Grand Prix and that was a big thrill. Malkara had already won by that stage and we were waiting for Lyrids to do something and then he did that. It was the weirdest thing but my best thrill. I thought to myself “what a trainer, that’s just unbelievable.”

MALKARA WON 3 RACES IN A ROW FOR YOU EN ROUTE TO CLAIMING THE GOLD COAST HORSE OF THE YEAR TITLE? THAT MUST HAVE BEEN A BIG THRILL?
That was a knockout. He’s still my password, that’s how fondly I remember him. He was my first winner. He was never going to be a champion but when he won three weeks in a row we went back through records and the only horse to do that was Tulloch. Turf writer Max Presnell, who is a family friend of ours, went through the records for me. There were plenty of horses that  raced 3 weeks in a row but not many can win 3 consecutive Saturdays.

MALKARA WINS HIS THIRD CONSECUTIVE SATURDAY RACE IN AUGUST 2017

WHAT HAS BEEN THE BEST PART OF BEING AN OWNER WITH MCR?
The communications for a start is second to none. The videos and MCR TV is just brilliant.  I love hearing what other horses are racing and what’s available. It’s been a truly wonderful experience to date and economically, I’ve probably come out the better end of it without any of these undue expenses. I’ve just been lucky. 

Also the social side of things. We went to the Magic Millions for Phobetor and you catch up with all the owners and Michael and his charming family, which was a terrific experience. It’s a shame we’re going through this now but at least we’re still racing.

His professionalism for the age he is, is really amazing. His patience with the management of the horse, some people get frustrated with it but as Bart Cummings said “patience wins you races”. I’d say that to anyone that wants to get involved.

WE KNOW YOU REGULARLY WATCH THE RACES AT THE PUB. WHAT IS YOUR FUNNIEST PUB PUNTING STORY?
I can’t remember the exact numbers but one day about six months ago, Michael had two horses in and I told a group of guys it’s No.5 in race 6 and No.6 in race 7. But I got the the numbers the wrong way around and Michael’s didn’t win but the others did. After the last race, they’ve gone up with a huge cheer and there was a lot of back slapping going on and I said ‘what are you doing’? 

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE FOR FIRST TIME OWNERS?
To have patience and shop around for trainers. Talk to them and get the full detail. Michael was right up front from day one and said here’s what it’s going to cost. Also, you’ve got to take a bit of responsibility as an owner …  And whatever you do, don’t give he or she advice unless you’ve got a trainer’s license!


 

BOB ORCHARD

 

BOB ORCHARD WITH DAUGHTER MANDI AFTER MALAHIDE’S WIN IN THE AQUIS CRYSTAL SLIPPER.

Owner Bob Orchard’s racing story began in the world of bookmaking and punting.

However, it’s the love of the horse which has resonated and become the driving force behind his 50 year involvement in racing.

Read our Owners Q&A below to hear more about his racing story.

HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED IN RACING? 
I’ve been involved in racing for 50 years.  I started when I was studying to try and earn a bit of money and become involved from there on. I started as a bookmaker in the 1970s in Victoria on the country circuit. I always had an interest in racing and was involved with a few different horses in a few different syndicates.

HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED WITH MCR?
When I moved up to Coffs Harbour I relinquished my bookmakers license and a friend up here said “let’s buy a horse to give us an interest.’ I said “rather than buy one, why don’t we buy a few shares in a few different horses with in an upcoming trainer.” He said ok I’ll leave it to you and that’s how we chose Michael and became involved.

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE MCR?
My daughter was involved in eventing and equestrian work, she actually worked at the famous Woodlands Stud with Octagonal and those horses. She’s what I call a ‘horse girl’ even though she’s a bit older now.

In that period of my life, I became more interested in the horse themselves rather than a means of making money. I love horses and wanted a trainer that treated the horses as a horse and as an individual. After doing a lot of research I chose Michael …. and it’s true to what I found, he has a love for horses! They’re not a commodity and the performance he gets from treating them that way is outstanding.
 

HOW MANY HORSES DO YOU CURRENTLY OWN?
I always go to the sales and I ended up finding Michael at the Magic Millions sales and said to him “I’m interested in some shares over a period of time.” He said “look I’ve just bought two horses” and one turned out to be MALAHIDE (4 wins from 14 starts) and the other was PHOBETOR (4 wins from 8 starts). But there was never any hurry with our horses, the horse tells you when it’s ready. From there we went to DEFACTOR (1 win from 4 starts) and of course then SUPERGIANT (Group 3 winner and 3 wins from 6 starts).

After that we’ve just bought a share in the SHAMUS AWARD x ESTHERMACyearling which I really like. He stands over a bit of ground and he has a nice length of rein. I think he’s special too, I really like him.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT BEING AN OWNER?
I’ve got a disabled daughter, Mandi, who is in a wheelchair. Mandi, a business partner and myself formed a little syndicate between ourselves. We give my daughter the leading role with the horses and she is a good judge. I take her to the races when I’m able to and she’s our designated Racing Manager. The joy we get from having the horses and our banter has been terrific. My daughter and son Julian are adamant followers of Michael. Michael really lets everyone know about how the horses are going in the stable which builds up a bit of camaraderie between all the owners.
 

BOB CELEBRATES PHOBETOR’S WIN IN THIS YEAR’S MAGIC MILLIONS RISING STARS WITH DAUGHTER MANDI AND SON JULIAN

WHAT HAS GIVEN YOU YOUR BIGGEST THRILL IN RACING
MALAHIDE winning the Aquis Slipper was the biggest thrill,  PHOBETOR winning the Magic Millions Rising Stars for 3YOs and then of course SUPERGIANT winning recently was great. 

A lot of trainers just race their horse every week for the sake of income but what I like about Michael, is that he understand the horses ability and can actually place a horse. With those three horses, and even DEFACTOR’s first win, they’ve been exemplary wins and they have all won running away. That’s the style I like, just don’t run them every week for the sake of it.  That gives you something to look forward to. Even if a goal doesn’t come off, at least you’ve had all the build up and you’ve had all the anticipation. We’ve had great success with everything Michael has targeted. 

But overall, probably the MALAHIDE one was the most memorable as I had my daughter there in the wheelchair. That really stood out. The big occasions when my family has been there and its been a really great family occasion. I’ve seen other owners too, they bring their family along and it makes it a great joyous day.

FROM ALL YOUR YEARS AS A BOOKIE, DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE PUNTING STORY?
The Grand National hurdle many years ago there was a horse from New Zealand called SOMOY. Usually if the ladies came along to have a bet, I’d always give them well over the odds because the ladies normally have $10 each way or something. This one day, this nice lady came up and asked “what odds would you give me, SOMOY.”  I gave her well and truly over the odds and then she pulled out a few hundred dollars and the horse won by a mile!

Another day I was heading to the Sale races and I said to the guys “grab my bookmakers bag and assemble the money in order for the day.” They came back and told me there was no money in the bag and it turned out I’d left it under the bed. I ended up borrowing some money off some friends, some other bookmakers and after the third race, I’d actually paid my friends back and had a bag full of money.

DID YOU LEARN ANY VALUABLE LESSONS AS A BOOKMAKER?
I always used to say “I’d beat the punter”. But when computer form came in, they’d come with reams and reams of paper. I still thought ‘well you won’t beat me” …. Well, they did beat me because they wouldn’t bet every race, they’d pick out one or two horses in the whole meeting and have bigger bets. Basically after that, I retired from bookmaking.

DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE HORSE?
The horse that gave me most grief as a bookmaker was a horse called HYPERNO because he used to come out and win big races all the time. The people loved him and everybody loved backing him so he gave me grief on various occasions.  But over time, I think MALAHIDE has been my favourite horse. She is a filly and she’s just a horse you couldn’t not love.

Mandi’s favourite is SUPERGIANT now. They were all her favourite but SUPERGIANT is her favourite now. When I saw the video of him in training (after Michael purchased him from NZ), I said “I’ve got a share in this horse, he’s special.” He reminded me of one of my daughter’s eventers and he looked to have this lovely gait.

SUPERGIANT CLAIMS THE GROUP 3 GUNSYND CLASSIC IN JUNE, 2020

WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT MCR?
I like watching MCR TV, that’s great as it makes everyone part of it. I know how busy trainers are and I try not to contact Michael so the video clip lets you know where everything is and where everyone is going. I like Michael to be successful and everyone feels like they’re part of his success. Everyone gets so much joy out of the way he operates.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT RACING?
You develop a love for horses and they’re lovely animals, they really are. I think if you’re children have had horses, it’s just like part of the family.

Everyone comes from a different perspective but all the stories lead to the same thing, the love for the horse. They might start off being a punter, but they all end up in the same place – the love for the horse. That’s the good thing about it, you all finish up in the same place.

DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR FIRST TIME OWNERS?
The best thing to do is get a few friends and buy a share in a horse. Horse racing is not much fun if you own a slow horse on our own. But if you’ve got a few friends and you’ve got a small share in a horse, it becomes a lot of fun. The best fun is being in a group with a few shares. You increase your odds of having a winner. And pick Michael Costa because he covers everything. The way he operates with his clients, he’s the perfect trainer for people entering the racing industry.