New Plymouth trainer Robbie Patterson has once again elected to escape the winter chill of his homeland in favour of the warmer climes of Queensland.
The Taranaki horseman has been a frequent raider of Queensland’s Winter Carnival and this year he is campaigning a handful of runners to try and snare some Australian riches.
Despite a mixed start to his team’s campaign, Patterson is enjoying his time in Queensland and is hopeful of some positive results when he heads to Eagle Farm with a three-pronged attack on Saturday.
“We have been here for 10 days and haven’t seen a cloud yet. It is a good place to be,” Patterson said.
“We have had a bit of a slow start. Terziere has a hairline fracture, which has stopped her.
“The Fearless One was too fresh (when ninth in the Gr.3 Lord Mayor’s Cup, 1800m) and they ran a track record. He is lining up again this week and he will be way better off with that run under his belt.”
The son of The Bold One got a taste of success in Queensland last year when third in the Gr.3 Premier’s Cup (2400m) at Eagle Farm and Patterson is hoping Saturday’s hit-out over 1810m at the Brisbane track will set him up nicely for looming Cups targets.
“He went super in the Premier’s Cup last year and then got caught three-wide in the Brisbane Cup (Gr.2, 3200m),” Patterson said.
“He was way too fresh the other day. He has done well and that is why I have backed him up because it was going to be three weeks between now and the Ipswich Cup (Listed, 2150m), which would have been too long for him.
“All going well, he will go to the Ipswich Cup and then the Caloundra Cup (Listed, 2400m).”
The Fearless One could be joined in his Saturday contest by stablemate Nom De Plume, who requires one further scratching to make the field.
The daughter of El Roca has pleased Patterson since her runner-up effort over 1400m at Te Rapa last month and he believes she is a big chance if she makes the field.
“Nom De Plume is flying,” he said.
“She has done the best out of all of them here and we just need one more scratching to get a run. I would like to think that she can poke her nose into the money.”
Rounding out Patterson’s Eagle Farm team will be Puntura in the Listed Spear Chief Handicap (1500m).
The Group Three performer will be fresh-up since winning over 1400m at Te Rapa in April and Patterson is looking forward to getting a line on the gelding ahead of his remaining Queensland targets.
“He has done very well. I have noticed that when you get here, they do well,” Patterson said.
“I am hoping he is not in need of the run. He has got some targets later on in the month but I would like to see him go a really good race on Saturday so he can go in with a bit of confidence.
“He jumped out on Tuesday at Eagle Farm and went super. Sam (Collett) rode him and she was very happy. Mark (Du Plessis) takes over the reins this week because he is familiar with him, having won races on him up here.
“I expect a cheeky race.”