Taranaki trainer Robbie Patterson is enjoying being back in his homeland after campaigning a trio of his team in Queensland.
It was Patterson’s second trip across the Tasman to compete at the Queensland Winter Carnival and he was met by a wet reception in the Sunshine State.
“It was wet for the first couple of weeks and then it fined up. It was a bit of an indifferent season for Brisbane that’s for sure,” Patterson said.
It wasn’t smooth sailing for the New Plymouth horseman who ran into a few issues, particularly with stable star Coventina Bay, whose best result was a fifth placing in the Gr.2 Hollindale Stakes (1800m).
“I had a lot of problems going over there with tying up. It was really muggy when we got there and it took the horses a little while to acclimatise to it,” Patterson said.
“We got a win (Nom De Plume) and a placing (The Fearless One – Gr.3 Premier’s Cup, 2400m).
“We got a lot of bad luck in the Doomben Cup. Coventina Bay should have probably run in the money and that would have made things a lot rosier.
“But it was another good learning experience and I am figuring out how to travel these horses to Brisbane a lot better now.
“I am hoping to make it an annual trip, as long as we have got the right horses to go. I always try and find a stayer or two to take over there.”
The trio of runners are now enjoying a well-deserved break and will return to the stable in the spring.
“They are going to have a really good spell until September. They are bouncing around in the paddock and have come through it well,” Patterson said.
“Coventina Bay will target the same programme as she did this season – the Manawatu Challenge Stakes (Gr.2, 1400) in the middle of December and onwards from there.
“The Fearless One will target a 2400m race and then I’ll go over to Australia with him.
“I know Nom De Plume’s form tailed off, but she is going to be a really good stayer. She is only a rising four-year-old, so I will take her lightly and head to something like the St Leger (Listed, 2600m) in the autumn with her.”
Patterson’s winter team is starting to build, but is now one horse down with Group Three performer Secret Amour heading for a freshen-up in preparation for some early spring targets.
“We are starting to build up now. We have got 30 in work and will be up to 40 by the start of August,” Patterson said.
“Secret Amour will go out for three weeks. She was going to run on Saturday but the track was too bad and I want to start her fresh-up in the Foxbridge (Gr.2, 1200m) and see where she is at and whether she can go to Hawke’s Bay or not.
“I have got a lot of nice young horses there and Contribute came back in today. She is going to be a smart horse if she can stay sound.”
Patterson will have just the one runner at his home track on Friday, with three-year-old filly Unleashed making her debut for the barn.
“Unleashed will have her first start for me on Friday,” Patterson said.
“She has won a trial for me and she will be right in the thick of it. She is a really nice Shamexpress filly and she will go well.
“I will then back off her and she is going to be a nice horse in later spring."