Classy Coventina Bay (NZ) Cracks Group One

14 February 2022

Coventina Bay (NZ) scores the Gr.1 Herbie Dyke Stakes (2000m) at Te Rapa.

After three previous stakes wins along with two placings at the highest level, high-class Karaka graduate Coventina Bay (NZ) (Shamexpress) climbed the Group One mountain in Saturday's $400,000 Herbie Dyke Stakes (2000m) at Te Rapa.

Offered at the 2017 Select Sale with a reserve of only $20,000, the quality performer has now had 21 starts for 10 wins, five placings and $554,180 in stakes – almost 30 times her reserve.

Although she has shown a more dynamic turn of foot in some of her previous victories, none were as meaningful as what Coventina Bay did on Saturday.

Ridden by Craig Grylls, the Robbie Patterson-trained mare emerged from the pack and slowly but surely wore down the front-running Vernanme (NZ) (O'Reilly) in the Te Rapa straight, surging past that rival in the last 150 metres to score by three-quarters of a length.

“It was a great win,” jockey Craig Grylls said. “She didn’t begin that well, but ended up with a good run. I got back to the fence to save a lot of ground and then got out at just the right time.

“She is just so gutsy and gives it her all, and the Group One is well deserved. Robbie is a great bloke and we’ve managed to have a lot of success over the last year or so.”

It was a new career pinnacle for Patterson, who trains Coventina Bay in New Plymouth for breeder Wayne Darling and 11 other owners.

“She is just a true professional,” Patterson said. “I’m just speechless. This is quite amazing, really.

“It was a great ride by Craig, who is probably the best jockey in the country at the moment. She got in the tricky part of the track, but she is just so genuine and just a good horse.

“I might be able to go back to Aussie with her now. We might just have a go at the Doomben Cup (Group One, 2000m) and have a good holiday as well.”

Coventina Bay had previously won the Group Two Manawatu Challenge Stakes (1400m), Group Three Cuddle Stakes (1600m) and Group Three J Swap Sprint (1400m), along with placings in the Group One New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes (1600m) and Thorndon Mile (1600m).

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