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In-form mare ready for ripper of a showing

4 min read
Robbie Patterson believes Coventina Bay (NZ) (Shamexpress {NZ}) has the performances on the board to make her a genuine contender in Saturday’s G2 Magic Millions Dane Ripper S. at Eagle Farm.

The New Plymouth-based Patterson has been delighted by the progress made since arriving in Brisbane by Coventina Bay and in-form stablemate Puntura (NZ) (Vespa {NZ}), who takes on the gifted Aytron (NZ) (Iffraaj {GB}) in the G3 James Squire Gunsynd Classic.

Coventina Bay earned her passage to Queensland with Group 3 successes in the Cuddle S. and J Swap Sprint and at her most recent appearance was a close second to Avantage in the G1 New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders’ S.

“If Avantage was in the race she’d probably be a short-priced favourite so going on that form my mare should be pretty competitive,” Patterson said.

“Both horses travelled well and trialled up nicely last week. They both came through it super and I couldn’t be happier.”

“Both horses (Coventina Bay and Puntura) travelled well and trialled up nicely last week.” – Robbie Patterson

Samantha Collett has been the regular partner of the stablemates and will again guide the pair at Eagle Farm.

“Having a jockey of Sam’s ability here to ride them in trackwork and raceday has been invaluable and she’s been very happy with both of the horses,” said Patterson, who trained a winning double with Swiss Kitty (NZ) (Swiss Ace) and Dame Vera (NZ) (Niagara) on his home track on Thursday.

Coventina Bay is a diminutive mare, but for what she seriously lacks in size she more than makes up for with talent and a serious will to win.

Robbie Patterson

“Ilone Kelly broke her in and she was a bit of a handful and the filly was grazing at my place. It was a natural progression that I got her to train, I know the owner and he said just grab her out of the paddock,” Patterson said.

“She didn’t start off like a top horse though, she was a bronc ride for a while. She was a tough little nut and I think that’s what makes her so good.

“When you watch Coventina Bay race she just barrels them out of the way, she hasn’t got a fear of anything. She’ll kick and bite as well if you’re not watching.”

“When you watch Coventina Bay race she just barrels them out of the way, she hasn’t got a fear of anything.” – Robbie Patterson

The only question mark Patterson has is the 1300 metres and he believes she will be even more of a force to be reckoned with over 1600 metres in the G1 Tatt’s Tiara, in which she is currently a $13 chance, in a fortnight’s time.

“I can see her attacking the line strongly. The distance is a slight query, they’ll have to go hard for her so I’m hoping the tempo is good and she’ll be able to get home late – that’s her pattern of racing,” he said.

“Her work on Saturday and on Wednesday morning was great and so was her trial at Caloundra. She beat some tidy horses easily and I just hope the race pans out well.

“All going well she’ll go on to the Tatt’s Tiara. I reckon people should be backing her now because I reckon after Saturday her odds will be slashed.

“Hopefully, some of the better mares aren’t here come the Tiara. It might not be the strongest Group 1, but it definitely won’t be easy.”

Taking a punt

Puntura has won his last four on the bounce and also won a trial to tune him up for his Australian debut.

“His form is very hard to knock, but it’s hard to weigh up against the Australian 3-year-olds. He hasn’t done anything wrong and attacks the line,” Patterson said.

“Obviously, Ayrton is a boom horse and he will take some pegging back. He’s got a bit of a sticky gate and will get back, but the way they race they get out to the middle and get home late so I’m hoping that theory comes to fruition.

“I can’t see him beating that top horse (Ayrton), but if we ran second to him we would all be stoked.”

As long as he performs creditably on Saturday, Puntura will head toward the G3 Winx Guineas at the Sunshine Coast on June 27.

Puntura (NZ) and Robbie Patterson

Gunsynd Classic
Dane Ripper S.
Coventina Bay
Robbie Patterson