A Purrfect result for Dundeel

Nine per cent of Dundeel's runners are now stakes performers - 12 of them at Group 1 level. (PHOTO: Bronwen Healy)

Purrfect Deal’s defiant victory in Thursday’s $200,000 Grafton Cup 2350m LR gave her sire Dundeel his 14th career stakeswinner and his sixth this season. 

The 4YO mare started favourite in the race after easily winning the Cup Prelude on 27 June, and willingly pulled out all stops in race record time of 2:24.44 to  hold out Laure Me In, Parry Sound & Berdibek in a blanket finish.  


It was Purrfect Deal’s 7th win from 11 starts and win no. 54 in the best-ever season of Michael Costa’s 10-year training career. He said, “I’ve dreamt about winning this race for 13 years so it is a very emotional day. 

“Spencer putting the pace in the race enabled Purrfect Deal to get into a ‘sweet’ spot and this mare is just so tough. To go from a mile to the 2200 last start, and 11 days after to back up in this quality field and to do that … phenomenal effort!”

Purrfect Deal is the best of 7 winners out of the now-retired Our Kitty (by Tale of the Cat), a Group-placed city winner from the distinguished family of  champions Lonhro & Lankan Rupee and leading sire Grosvenor.  Among the mares currently in foal to Dundeel is Sir Patrick & Lady Hogan’s Sara Ann who, like Purrfect Deal, descends from Grosvenor’s dam My Tricia.

Dundeel has seen only two mares by Tale of the Cat and both have produced stakeswinners beyond 2000 metres: Purrfect Deal and VRC St Leger LR winner Transact.  

Bred by Michael Hadley’s Balance Thoroughbreds, Purrfect Deal has returned a healthy multiple of the price Michael Costa paid for her when she was offered by vendor Cinque Cavalli in 2018. That was at the same Inglis Classic Sale which produced Dundeel’s dual Group 1-winning son Castelvecchio, now standing alongside him at Arrowfield. 

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