Greyhound industry mourns passing of Cesare Costa

Family, friends and the greyhound racing family are mourning the death of 1986 Australian Cup-winning trainer Cesare Costa, who passed away on Tuesday after a long battle with cancer, aged 78.

The late Cesare Costa, second from right, after Bright Judge won the 1986 Australian Cup at Olympic Park.
The late Cesare Costa, second from right, after Bright Judge won the 1986 Australian Cup at Olympic Park.

"The late Caesar Costa commenced training greyhounds back in the late 60s from his property in Devon Meadows he was later to take over a property in Tooradin originally set up by Rex Hurst," historian Neil Brown said.

"Caesar made this a very successful venture including a trial track and operated the business for many years.

"A much-loved figure in the sport he gave a great deal of his time and understanding to help many greyhound training aspirants who frequented his training establishment at Tooradin.

"Caesar has been remembered this week by his many greyhound friends who enjoyed his company and the knowledge and help he offered whenever asked."

Costa's career highlight came in 1986 when he won the $100,000 Australian Cup with Bright Judge.

Costa originally owned the speedster, but sold him to first-time owners Gwen Rimes and Charles Burnip for more than $10,000, a month out from the Australian Cup, on the proviso he remained the greyhound's trainer.

Bright Judge triumphed from box eight, with his little sister La Verita – also trained by Costa – finishing fourth.

Peter Brock and Ingrid Johansen, the King and Queen of Moomba that year, pictured with Costa, Bright Judge and the winning owners following the Olympic Park triumph.

"An extremely competent trainer he hit the jackpot with Bright Judge when his black speedster won the 1986 Australian Cup at Olympic Park," Brown said.

"Caesar had two in the final with Bright Judge's litter sister La Verita finishing fourth."

Costa also broke in many a star dog, but none bigger than Awesome Assasin, who went onto become a champion sire.

"Always up for a chat his happy disposition afforded him numerous friends from all aspects of Greyhound Racing and beyond, and he is fondly remembered by many," Brown said.