All roads lead to Te Aroha for Coventina Bay

Coventina Bay
Coventina Bay blazes past her opposition to win the Lisa Chittick Plate (1400m) at Matamata. Photo Credit: Trish Dunell

Taranaki trainer Robbie Patterson took time out on Sunday morning for a spot of fishing with a group of mates, safe in the knowledge he has progressive galloper Coventina Bay right where he wants her as a Group One target looms.

The Shamexpress five-year-old gave punters a sparkling display of her raw speed when she came from near last on the home turn to blow her female rivals away in the Lisa Chittick Plate (1400m) at Matamata on Saturday.

It was just what Patterson wanted to see after giving the mare time to get over her last start third in the Group 2 Rich Hill Mile (1600m) on New Year’s Day, where she put in another huge late burst to claim her minor placing.

“She has got such a turn of foot and she showed that again yesterday,” Patterson said. “This time she got the breaks when she needed them and put them away nicely.

“It will be interesting to digest her sectionals as she closed out that last piece pretty quickly.

“She does need her races run to suit, but she is getting better every start and I think she was the best I have ever had her going into this race.”

Coventina Bay ran her final 600m in 33.72, the fastest final three furlongs of the day, with dominant juvenile winner Sword Of State (33.98) the only other horse on the card to close in under 34 seconds.

Saturday’s victory made it seven wins from just 12 career starts for Coventina Bay, with Patterson keen to see her add to her stakes tally after picking up the Listed J Swap Sprint (1400m) at Te Rapa back in December.

“She has pulled up really well this morning and is bouncing around and full of life,” he said.
“Our main goal is the Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes (Group 1, 1600m) at Te Aroha in April so she can have one more run before then.

“I think that will most likely be in the Cuddle Stakes (Group 3, 1600m) at Trentham on Oaks Day as it sits nicely three weeks out from Te Aroha.”

Patterson was also satisfied with the performance of stablemate Lady Rudolph in the same race, despite the Rip Van Winkle mare finishing near last after bombing the start.

“She (Lady Rudolph) needed the run as she is in a difficult place in the handicaps and it has been hard to get a start for her,” he said.

“She blew it at the start which put paid to her chances, but I thought she ran home well and was pretty much in behind the pack that finished in midfield.

“She didn’t disgrace herself and she will be competitive next time.”

Coventina Bay is the great-granddaughter of multiple Group One winner Nimue and hails from a family that includes stakes performers Deane Martin, Pipi Beel and Lucky Feather.

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