Patterson’s Taranaki operation flying high again

Robbie Patterson and co.
Robbie Patterson, centre, pictured with owners Carole and John Lynskey, following Puntura’s victory in the Group 1 Thorndon Mile (1600m) last month. Photo: Race Images Palmerston North

Robbie Patterson is enjoying another stellar season and is firmly on target to eclipse the heroics of his stable in the 2022/23 term.

The New Plymouth trainer has sent out 39 winners, including a personal best of six at Group or Listed level, with the stable’s earnings already north of $1.8 million.

“It’s been a ripper and we’ve won a few good races and I’m just hoping it continues,” Patterson said.

“I wanted to replicate last season and get to 50 wins and $1 million in stakes and then I would be happy.

“We’ve nearly got $2 million and we’ll hopefully get to 50 again and we’ve won a lot of Group races, so it’s been great.”

Patterson will have several chances to advance his tally on Saturday with runners at Otaki and Matamata and most significantly Puntura in the Group 1 Otaki-Maori WFA Classic (1600m) at the Central Districts venue.

The son of Vespa has been the star of the show with consecutive successes in the Group 3 Coupland’s Bakeries Mile (1600m), the Group 2 Manawatu Challenge Stakes (1400m) crowned by his last-start victory in the Group 1 Thorndon Mile (1600m).

“He trialled up really nicely at Foxton last week and he jumped out again at New Plymouth on Monday,” Patterson said.

“He’s really flying and I couldn’t be happier. He’s drawn eight of 10 and that’s not going to worry him, he’s a big horse and needs room so he’ll roll forward and put himself in the race.”

Safely through Otaki, the lure of a share of the $650,000 Summer Series bonus may see Puntura head to Ellerslie on March 9.

“We’ll wait and see how he comes through Saturday, but he has got nine points in the Summer Series Bonus and the Bonecrusher (Group 1, 2000m) is the final leg so we might have a throw of the dice at that,” Patterson said.

He will also be represented in the Otaki New Zealand St Leger Trial (2300m) by The Underbelly, who will be chasing his fourth win on the bounce.

“He just keeps improving out of every race and he’s a big, chilled out dude,” Patterson said.

“He’ll get a nice run and he’ll see the 2300m out, he’ll love that. I’m very confident, even though he’s moving up a step again.”

Patterson’s other runner is The Hottie in The Tele Otaki Handicap (1400m), who will drop back in grade after an unplaced run in the Anniversary.

“A little bit of give in the track will help and she was second-up in the Anniversary,” he said.

“She had done really well and it was probably trainer error more than anything, she had got away on me a bit. She jumped out on Monday and finished right beside Ladies Man so she’s going into it as good as she can be.”

Craig Grylls will be aboard all three of Patterson’s representatives at Otaki.

At Matamata, Contribute has been given the nod over stablemate Our Jumala in the Listed Matamata Veterinary Services Equine Kaimai Stakes (2000m).

“Contribute has gone in the right direction since she won the Taranaki Cup (1800m),” Patterson said.

“Ciel Butler will ride her again and she’s been gleaming after every bit of trackwork and Our Jumala is coming up a peg or two and is in open company now so we can’t hide.

“Courtney Barnes will ride her, but I think Contribute will have to be the top chance in that.”

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