Melody Belle (NZ) Claims Seventh Group 1Sunday, Sep 1, 2019
Three and a half years after her purchase for only $57,500 at Karaka in 2016, Melody Belle (NZ) (Commands) is the undisputed queen of Group 1 weight-for-age racing in New Zealand.
The superstar mare claimed her seventh Group 1 victory with a brilliant performance in Saturday’s $200,000 Tarzino Trophy (1400m) at Hastings. She had also won the same race 12 months earlier, the first of five Group 1 victories during an amazing 2018-19 season.
Overall, Melody Belle is now the winner of 12 of her 22 starts and has earned $1.749 million for her owners, the Fortuna Melody Belle Syndicate. That figure is more than 30 times what Te Akau’s David Ellis paid to buy her at Karaka in early 2016.
On Saturday, just like she did all the way through last season, Melody Belle superbly beat a quality field of rivals. She overcame a wide draw and a slow start, improving her position approaching the home turn before coming wide at the top of the straight to make her run.
When rider Michael McNab turned her loose, Melody Belle roared down the outside of the track to score an emphatic victory by three-quarters of a length.
“She’s a star, you can’t fault her,” trainer Jamie Richards said. “She’s done a terrific job. On the speed, off the speed, it doesn’t matter. She’s just a champion. Well done to John Galvin and his great group of owners, and to David for buying her.”
McNab was in awe of his mount’s performance.
“All credit to the horse,” he said. “I stepped slowly from the gate, and I thought, ‘Oh well, that’s Plan A gone.’ I was going to try to go forward. So I just decided to go back. I went back, got in, and I was able to chase Endless Drama down the side.
“I got her out in the straight and just let her rip. She’s an amazing horse.”
Runner-up Wyndspelle (NZ) (Iffraaj) is also a Karaka graduate, bought for $75,000 at the 2015 Select Sale. He has now earned more than $520,000 in prize-money.
|Purchaser||Mr DC Ellis (Te Akau)|
|Breeding||Commands – Meleka Belle|
|Sale||Lot 395, 2016 Premier Sale, $57,500|
|Bred by||Mrs N M Leicester|