Jockey Blake Shinn (right) and trainer Michael Costa pose for a photograph after Blake Shinn rode Manaya to victory in race 4, the Matt, Stav, and Abby Class 6 Plate, during the Tattersall's Tiara Race Day at Doomben Racecourse earlier this year.
Jockey Blake Shinn (right) and trainer Michael Costa pose for a photograph after Blake Shinn rode Manaya to victory in race 4, the Matt, Stav, and Abby Class 6 Plate, during the Tattersall's Tiara Race Day at Doomben Racecourse earlier this year. ALBERT PEREZ/AAP PHOTOS

Costa confident in smug challenger

F&M CL 1 HCP: Smug Satisfaction, who bumped into some very stiff opposition at the start of her career in Victoria last year, looks set to break through for her first win for Gold Coast trainer Michael Costa at Grafton today.

Formerly trained by Henry Dwyer, Smug Satisfaction lines up for her second run for the Costa stable and looks the one to beat in the Restaurant 2460 @ The GDSC F&M Class 1 Handicap (1115m).

The Sebring-Elegant Jewel mare was originally purchased by Dwyer at the 2016 Magic Millions sale for $45,000. She was later picked up by her current part-owner Daniel Driscoll for $20,000 at the Inglis online sale in February this year.

Smug Satisfaction had the misfortune to run up against the likes of future dual-hemishpere Group One star Merchant Navy and exciting sprint prospect Nature Strip during her first few starts for Dwyer in Victoria.

She won one of her 10 starts in the south - a Geelong Maiden win at her second start in July last year -but produced one of her better efforts when third to the brilliant Nature Strip over 1000m at Moonee Valley last November.

Smug Satisfaction resumed for her first start for Costa with an encouraging second to Time To Play in a F&M Benchmark 65 Hcp (1200m) at the Gold Coast only a fortnight ago.

"Her first-up run was very good and she was probably a bit stiff in the race after striking some trouble at about the half-mile,” Costa said. "She's pulled up well from that first-up run and is certainly working a lot better than a Class 1 horse.

"She does drop back from the 1200m to the 1115m of (today's) race but she's fresh enough and I don't see that as an issue. And the race does look a little bit easier than the Gold Coast race.”

Smug Satisfaction, who drew ideally in barrier four, could be Costa's sole runner from his three acceptors at the nine-race Grafton meeting.

First-starter Little Nikkas is unlikely to run after drawing gate 16 in the first race, and Nothing Needed may be a doubtful runner in the final event, the Class 2 Hcp (1420m).

Ryan Maloney, who partners Smug Satisfaction, looks to have several other good rides at the meeting before he heads off to Melbourne on Saturday to partner the Toby Edmonds-trained Winter Bride in the Group Three Cape Grim Beef Steaks (1200m) at Caulfield.

Maloney's other rides include favourite Turmoil (race one) and Rumberella (race three) for Toby Edmonds and Tough One (race four) for Ballina trainer Stephen Lee.