Class mare Coventina Bay has thrived since her first up win at Awapuni and is being prepared for an attempt at a stakes race double at Trentham next month.
Trainer Robbie Patterson confirmed the six-year-old daughter of Shamexpress had come through her victory in the Gr.2 Manawatu Challenge Stakes (1400m) in fine fettle and would now be set for the Gr.3 Dixon & Dunlop Anniversary Stakes (1600m) at Trentham on January 15 before tackling the Gr.1 Harcourts Thorndon Mile (1600m) a fortnight later.
“We gave her an easy time after her win at Awapuni and she has been bouncing around like she never even had a race,” Patterson said.
“The Thorndon has been on the radar for quite a while, so we have been looking to see what would be the best lead-up event for her and the Anniversary fits in nicely.
“For some reason that race hasn’t drawn an overly strong field in recent years and being two weeks out from the Thorndon it will be just what she needs.
“The Thorndon is run at set weights and penalties now, so she should get in with around 55.5kgs, which will make her an extremely tough proposition to beat.”
Patterson is also looking further ahead than the Thorndon Mile with an attempt at the Gr.1 Herbie Dyke Stakes (2000m) at Te Rapa on February 12 also on the cards for his stable star.
“The goal this campaign is to get her over 2000m and the Herbie Dyke also fits in well for that,” he said.
“It would mean she has three runs within a month, but I think she is mature enough now to cope with that.
“The added bonus is that she is a wonderful traveller, who just goes to sleep on the truck and doesn’t expend any extra energy and that is half the battle when you are up against the best in these Group One races.”
Patterson was also celebrating a sparkling day on his home patch at New Plymouth on Monday where he produced four of the eight winners on the card.
Eddie Wood kicked off proceedings with a front-running victory in a maiden 1800m event before three-year-old debutant Nom De Plume and new stable addition Contribute went back-to-back over 1400m in races four and five.
Bold Bette rounded out a special day when she narrowly took out the last race on the card for a large group of owners including Taranaki Racing Inc. CEO Carey Hobbs.
“I was pretty confident that Contribute and Bold Bette would be hard to beat, but Eddie Wood and Nom De Plume were a little bit of a surprise,” Patterson said.
“Eddie Wood is a bit of a bludger, but he got his act together to win nicely, while I thought Nom De Plume might just find the 1400m a little short.
“She is a really promising staying prospect that I have high hopes for and could even be a New Zealand Oaks (Gr.1, 2400m) contender if she makes the progress I think she can.
“She isn’t nominated for the Oaks, but we will give her a run over a mile next and then she can have a crack at the Oaks Prelude (Listed, 1800m) here in February.
“If she goes well in that then we can pop in a late nomination for the Oaks.
“Contribute and Bold Bette had been working well and I thought they could win with some luck.
“Contribute was having her first start for me after being with Daniel Miller. Daniel did a wonderful job with her and she came to me in tip top condition.
“I think there is more in store further down the track for her, while Bold Bette can go with it now she has that first win on the board.”