Realistic Patterson enjoying first taste of Melbourne

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  • March 14, 2024
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By Paul Vettise, LOVERACING.NZ News Desk

Robbie Patterson will be soaking up the atmosphere at Caulfield on Saturday but acknowledges his stable’s best chances of success this weekend lies on the home front.

The Taranaki trainer is in Melbourne with his Gr.1 Thorndon Mile (1600m) winner Puntura, who faces the daunting task of taking on Mr Brightside and company in the A$3.75 million All-Star Mile (1600m).

“He travelled over here very well and settled in super, everything is going pretty well,” Patterson said.

“We are realistic though and if he could run midfield and pulled up sound then we would be ecstatic. It’s an opportunity we will probably never get again so we’ve got to make the most of it.”

It’s at Trentham where Patterson has serious winning prospects with two strong Gr.3 Wentwood Grange Cuddle Stakes (1600m) contenders and three in The Bold One & Agraforum New Zealand St Leger (2600m).

Contribute and The Hottie will run in the fillies and mares’ feature with the former looking to turn her fortunes around after an interrupted run when a last-start sixth in the Listed Kaimai Stakes (2000m).

“She was super unlucky and would have finished closer if she didn’t get checked out of it,” Patterson said.

The daughter of Contributer had previously won the Gr.3 Taranaki Cup (1800m) and will be ridden by Matthew Cameron.

“She has been working well and The Hottie is a last-start winner with a heap of ability so I can’t really split them. A shower of rain wouldn’t worry either of them,” Patterson said.

The Hottie will be partnered by Michael McNab, who will also ride The Underbelly in the St Leger in the absence of Craig Grylls, who is in Melbourne to team up with Punturra.

Stablemates Nom De Plume, who will be dropping back in class after running fifth in the Gr.2 Avondale Cup (2400m), and Gr.3 Wellington Cup (3200m) winner Mary Louise complete a formidable St Leger line-up.

“Craig said the way The Underbelly has been going that he would take a fair bit of holding back and he’s ridden all of them,” Patterson said.

The Underbelly will be bidding for his fifth win on the bounce after a last-start romp to victory in the St Leger Trial (2300m) at Otaki.

Cameron will be aboard Nom De Plume and Joe Doyle takes the reins on Mary Louise.

“I liked the way Nom De Plume ran in the Cup, she got stronger as the race went on and I think she’ll be another massive chance,” Patterson said.

Mary Louise finished at the tail of the field last time out on a firm surface in the Avondale Cup and an easing of the track will boost her prospects.

“If we got a shower of rain, Mary Louise would come right into it. She won the Wellington Cup with 56kg and now she’s got 54kg on her favourite track,” Patterson said. – LOVERACING.NZ News Desk

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