By Ray Hickson
Albury trainer Donna Scott is leaving no stone unturned in an effort to secure a berth in the $1.3m The Kosciuszko with dual stakes winning sprinter Lord Von Costa.
Shortly after the rising eight-year-old won a Listed race at Flemington last Saturday, Scott took to social media to declare she’d purchased some $5 Kosciuszko tickets to give the stable a chance to have their first runner in the country feature on TAB Everest day.
And expect to see a whole lot more of Lord Von Costa on social media between now and September 9, when the 14 winners are drawn, given the quality of competition in the southern districts.
“We started buying tickets in case someone doesn’t pick us,’’ Scott said.
“The more tickets you buy the more chance you have. I’ll be contemplating talking to a couple of the local pubs, at times people have got behind the local pubs and formed syndicates.
“We’re taking a leaf out of the Mitch Beer book and getting some social media and getting him up and about.
“It’s good for our area at this stage with Geoff Duryea having two promising horses so we have a bit of a battle going on and if someone did win a ticket locally it’d be a big decision.’’
Scott is no stranger to the big stage at Royal Randwick with her smart mare Bennelong Dancer qualifying for three consecutive Country Championships Finals including a placing in 2019.
Lord Von Costa, now an $11 chance in TAB’s pre-noms market, joins the Mitch Beer acquisition Redouble ($15) and Duryea’s siblings Front Page ($6) and News Girl ($11) as pin-up horses for the area.
Scott said it’s been a plan to point Lord Von Costa towards the Kosciuszko since he won at Flemington back in January but originally wanted to showcase him at the Wagga carnival in May in the Town Plate before the heavy track put paid to that.
Almost 4 years after his victory in the Listed Creswick down the @FlemingtonVRC ‘straight six’, 7YO Lord Von Costa notches up a 2nd with power packed run in Listed Vic Sprint Final. By the Encosta de Lago G2 winner Von Costa de Hero, Lord Von Costa is trained by Donna Scott pic.twitter.com/cTfLLPm462
— Aushorse (@Aushorse_TBA) July 4, 2020
“We thought if we could win something locally it would help our cause for the Kosciuszko but Wagga was quite wet and he was first-up on a track like that so we elected to scratch,’’ she said.
“We knew we had our work cut out to try and get another win with him and thankfully he came to the fore winning on Saturday.
“You would think by winning a Listed race at Flemington it points well to getting a slot in the Kosciuszko.’’
Due to the process of securing a start in The Kosciuszko, Scott is unsure about her next move with Lord Von Costa but she feels she’ll need to find a race in Sydney or somewhere New South Wales to put his name fresh in the minds of potential ticket winners.
“You want to be hitting some form leading into it and we probably need to get him into NSW for people to have a look,’’ she said.
“I’ll back off him a little bit because he seems to not like the heavy tracks (in Sydney at the moment), let the dust settle and try to map out a plan.
“Because it’s a bit of the luck of the draw getting picked we need to be a bit strategic.’’
Lord Von Costa started his career under Graham Hulm, Donna Scott’s father, and showed plenty of talent as a young horse winning the Listed Creswick Stakes (the likes of Nature Strip, Gytrash and Front Page have won it since him).
He’s had a few stable changes and injury concerns and Scott took over his care in 2018.
“To get a horse back from one tendon injury, let alone two, and to race at that top level is great for the horse and the patience of the owners,’’ she said.
“He pulled up well, his leg seems fine and all is well with him touch wood.’’