Multiple Group One-winning mare Melody Belle could be set to cross the Tasman early next year if she pleases her connections with her three New Zealand assignments this campaign.
The Jamie Richards-trained mare had an outstanding spring preparation, winning all three of her starts, including two at elite level.
She has since returned to the trials in the last couple of weeks, winning both of her heats and Fortuna Syndicate manager John Galvin was pleased with what he saw.
“She has been flying in her work, you couldn’t ask for any better than winning those two trials the way she did, particularly the second one where she was three-wide,” he said.
“Shafiq (Rusof, jockey) eased her back, which is a bit unusual for her to race from that position in the field, and she was able to gather them up and win in a pretty quick time.”
Melody Belle’s first assignment of the summer will be the Gr.1 Sistema Railway (1200m) at Ellerslie on New Year’s Day and the four-year-old mare will have a final hit-out at Te Rapa on Saturday in preparation for the race.
“She is going to gallop on Saturday in-between races at Te Rapa and that will tighten her up really nicely for her big assignment on New Year’s Day,” Galvin said.
All going to plan, Melody Belle will then have two more starts in New Zealand before a possible Australian venture.
“We have got the three sprints to get through here (in New Zealand) first – The Railway, Telegraph and the Waikato Sprint (BCD Group Sprint). After that we will firm up on some definite plans for Australia, subject to her form being good enough,” Galvin said.
“We do plan to throw a nomination in for the All Star Mile. You’ve got to be selected for the field in the All Star Mile, but we’ll throw a nomination in anyway. That mile would suit her on March 16 because it is three or four weeks after the Waikato race.”
Galvin said another possible target for Melody Belle could be the Gr.1 Coolmore Legacy (1600m) at Randwick in April. – NZ Racing Desk