Group One-winning mare Coventina Bay has been retired and is now destined to head across the Tasman in preparation for the next stage of her career.
The daughter of Shamexpress won 11 of her 31 starts for trainer Robbie Patterson, including the Gr.1 Herbie Dyke Stakes (2000m), Gr.1 Bonecrusher New Zealand Stakes (2000m), Gr.2 Manawatu Challenge Stakes (1400m), Gr.3 J Swap Sprint (1400m) and Gr.3 Cuddle Stakes (1600m).
The curtain was drawn on her racing career following her sixth place run in the Herbie Dyke Stakes last month and Patterson is now looking forward to seeing how she is received by the buying bench at the Gold Coast broodmare sale in May.
“She is retired now and she is in the paddock enjoying herself,” Patterson said.
“She is going over to Newgate Farm in the middle of next month to be prepared for the Gold Coast broodmare sale. We are hoping that she can get a good price.”
While Coventina Bay’s two Group One victories were clear highlights of her racing career, it was her two-length victory in the Lisa Chittick Plate (1400m) that stands out above the rest for Patterson.
“Winning Group Ones are pretty special, but there was the Lisa Chittick Plate at Matamata, which for me was probably her best win,” he said.
“She was back, she went through them and destroyed them that day. That was a special win, but obviously the Group Ones are at the top of the table.
“She was a fantastic horse and put me on the ladder to better things. I owe a lot to her.”
While Coventina Bay has departed his racing team, Patterson is hoping her half-sister Winkle Bay is finally living up to her potential.
The daughter of Rip Van Winkle has been a test of patience for her connections and their perseverance was finally rewarded last start at Otaki where she broke through for her maiden victory at the 15th time of asking.
“She has got all the ability in the world but she has been so quirky. She has gone out favourite in nearly all of her starts,” Patterson said.
“Half of the syndicate pulled out the start before last, they had given up on her. John Wheeler said when these horses click they can go on with it and I have been waiting for her to click.
“She has always lugged in under pressure and I put a one-eye cup blinker on her at Otaki the other day and she ran straight and won quite impressively.
“I am just hoping with the change in gear, and she has matured a little bit, that she can go on with it now.”
She will attempt to make it back-to-back wins when she heads to Trentham on Saturday for the New Zealand Bloodstock Premier (1400m) where she will be met by stablemate Bananarahma.
The Darci Brahma mare was also victorious at her last start and Patterson is looking for a repeat performance this weekend.
“She has come through Wanganui really well,” he said.
“She is a pretty smart animal and can run good sectionals. With a nice, clean run from midfield on not too bad a track I think she will be very competitive.”
Patterson will also head to Trentham with Nom De Plume, who will line-up in the Gr.3 Wentwood Grange Cuddle Stakes (1600m).
She has been freshened since her win over 2100m at Otaki last month and Patterson said the Cuddle Stakes is a good stepping-stone for the Gr.3 Manawatu Breeders’ Stakes (2000m) at Awapuni next month.
“She is a staying horse and I have freshened her up since Otaki,” he said. “This fits in well with a month to the Manawatu Breeders’ Stakes.
“She has trained on very well. I really like the horse, she tries very hard.
“She will get back and be running on, just whether the pattern of the race suits her, but they will know she is there I am sure.”