Melody Belle (NZ) Matches Record with Eighth Group OneSunday, Sep 22, 2019
Sensational Karaka graduate Melody Belle (NZ) (Commands) shares a slice of New Zealand racing history after an effortless win in Saturday’s $200,000 Group 1 Windsor Park Plate (1600m) at Hastings.
The win was her eighth at Group 1 level, bringing her level with Mufhasa (NZ) (Pentire) for the all-time record number of elite-level victories in New Zealand.
A $57,500 purchase at the 2016 Premier Sale by Te Akau principal David Ellis, Melody Belle was crowned 2018-19 New Zealand Horse of the Year after scoring five superb Group 1 victories last season. She has begun 2019-20 in the same unstoppable form.
She won the Group 1 Tarzino Trophy (1400m) on August 31 with a stunning come-from-behind performance, and on Saturday she was breathtakingly dominant.
Settled in midfield by jockey Opie Bosson, Melody Belle began to improve her position as the field streamed down the side of the Hastings track towards the home turn.
Bosson brought the hot favourite out wide at the top of the straight, and Melody Belle took care of the rest. She cruised to the lead and raced away, scoring by two and three-quarter lengths in a fast time of 1:34.17.
Melody Belle has now won 13 of her 23 starts and earned $1.867 million in stakes – more than 32 times her purchase price.
“Eight Group 1 wins – words fail me,” said John Galvin, manager of the Fortuna Melody Belle Syndicate. “It’s a great thrill. I thought her last victory (Tarzino Trophy) was fantastic, after getting a long way back. I thought today was a very clinical performance. She relaxed and settled, and Opie handled her perfectly.”
Bosson, meanwhile, is now unbeaten from six rides on Melody Belle.
“She’s just amazing,” the champion jockey said. “Right from her 2-year-old days, all the way through to now. Jamie and the team at Te Akau have done a great job, and for her to just keep winning the way she has, it’s amazing.
“She’s got that will to win. Every time you go out on her, she gives you 110%. If she ever does run a bad race, there’s obviously something wrong.
“We got into a good spot today. They went quite hard in front, so I ended up going back a spot from where I’d originally planned. I also got going a little bit earlier than I had planned, but she was just going too well.”
|Purchaser||Mr DC Ellis (Te Akau)|
|Breeding||Commands – Meleka Belle|
|Sale||Lot 395, 2016 Premier Sale, $57,500|
|Bred by||Mrs N M Leicester|