Classy Comeback by Coventina Bay (NZ)

20 December 2021

Star mare Coventina Bay (NZ) was too classy in the $110,000 Group 2 Manawatu Challenge Stakes (1400m) (Race Images)

After more than five months off the scene, high-class mare Coventina Bay (NZ) (Shamexpress) made an outstanding return to racing in Saturday’s $110,000 Group Two Carters Manawatu Challenge Stakes (1400m) at Awapuni.

The quality performer is a graduate of the 2017 Select Sale at Karaka, where she was offered by Windsor Park Stud and failed to meet her $20,000 reserve. She has now had 18 starts for nine wins, three placings and $268,680 in stakes.

The headline act of Robbie Patterson’s New Plymouth stable, Coventina Bay stepped up into stakes class last season with smart victories in the Group Three J Swap Sprint (1400m) and Cuddle Stakes (1600m), along with placings in the Group One New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes (1600m) and Group Two Rich Hill Mile (1600m).

Unplaced in three appearances during the Queensland winter carnival where little went her way, Coventina Bay had a quiet start to the spring before building her fitness with two wins from three hitouts at the trials in recent weeks.

She made her welcome return to the races on Saturday, and with Craig Grylls on the saddle, the six-year-old settled at the tail of the talented field before unleashing her customary late burst.

Coventina Bay came with giant strides down the outside, sailing past the defending champion Tavi Mac (NZ) (Tavistock) to score by a length and three-quarters.

“That last trial at Foxton really brought her on, and after she galloped so well during the week, I thought she would be very hard to beat today,” Patterson said.

“There were some very nice horses she was up against, so you are never too cocky, but I just thought if she brought her A-game, they would have their hands full.

“She didn’t get the rub of the green in Brisbane. She is a back runner, and each race she contested turned out to be a sit-and-sprint affair. Her sectionals were just as good as the rest, but when you get back, you just can’t be giving that class of horse such a big start.”

Coventina Bay is now set to target the Group One Thorndon Mile (1600m) at Trentham on January 29 and the Group One Herbie Dyke Stakes (2000m) at Te Rapa two weeks later.

Vendor Windsor Park Stud
Breeding Shamexpress – Coventina
Sale Lot 628, 2017 Select Sale, Psd (Res $20,000)
Bred by EVB Ltd