Robbie Patterson is relying on Secret Amour to crown an outstanding season for his Taranaki stable.
The New Plymouth trainer has exceeded all his 2022/23 expectations to date with 47 winners to sit in fifth position on the premiership, but would dearly love a black-type success to cap his achievements.
“At the start of the season, I would have been happy to get 25 winners and now we’re pushing 50, so it’s been fantastic,” Patterson said.
“I haven’t got a stakes winner yet and I’m hoping Secret Amour can pull me through.”
The Niagara mare went close at Hastings on Saturday when she came from well back in the running to finish runner-up in the Listed Tauranga Classic (1400m).
“That was a great run, Craig (Grylls, jockey) said she just wouldn’t travel and he nearly gave up on her and then all of a sudden she picked up the bit,” Patterson said.
“I think I’ll take the blinkers off her, I’ve never tried her without them and if she could jump and travel she would win a race on her ear.
“She’ll go to the Opunake Cup (Listed, 1400m) and, all going well, will go to Christchurch for the Winter Cup (Gr.3, 1600m).”
Patterson has credited his now retired multiple Group One winner Coventina Bay as the major reason behind his stellar season.
“She has been the catalyst of it all and we’ve got more numbers now,” he said.
“I’ve always had a reasonable strike rate, but have got more horses now to get all those winners. I’ve got a lot of nice, young horses as well for next season.”
Patterson has done particularly well with the progeny of Grangewilliam Stud resident The Bold One with stakes placegetters The Fearless One and Mary Louise and last-start winner One Bold Cat among the stallion’s leading lights.
“I’m really lucky that Eddie Bourke, my biggest owner, has got a big percentage in The Bold One,” Patterson said.
“I’ve got a good supply of them at the moment and for the numbers he’s had he’s punching well above his weight.
“The best seasons are to come because he’s had 50-odd mares in the last couple of years.”
The only downside to Patterson’s season has been his failure to win a race during the Queensland winter carnival.
Nom De Plume and Contribute have been minor placegetters, but The Fearless One and Puntura have raced well below their best.
“Some of them have been pretty plain. The Fearless One has been very disappointing and he hasn’t fired a shot. We’ve had a few good runs, but quite a few poor ones, it’s a funny old game,” Patterson said.
“They will come back and perform well at home after spells, it’s not easy travelling over to Queensland and things just haven’t fallen into place.
“Contribute is staying over there and will go to Stewart McKinnon for a couple more runs.”
The five-year-old daughter of Contributer ran third at the Sunshine Coast two runs back before she finished fourth in the Gatton Cup (2000m).