Chance for smart 2YO to bounce back

Pukekohe two-year-old Melt is to be given her shot at Group One redemption.

The daughter of Iffraaj was unbeaten in her first two starts, both in black type company, before she finished sixth in the Gr.1 Sistema Stakes (1200m) at Ellerslie.

“The track came up too firm for her and Michael (McNab) said she never let down,” trainer Nigel Tiley said.
Melt had won the Listed Ashford Park Stakes (1100m) on debut and then claimed the Gr.3 Eclipse Stakes (1200m).

“I couldn’t fault her going into the Sistema and she’s come through the race really well so we’ll press on.”

The Gr.1 Courtesy Ford Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) at Awapuni on March 31 is her next target, after which she is likely to be spelled.

Meanwhile, Tiley is considering a tilt at next month’s Gr.2 Easter Handicap (1600m) with the talented Megablast.

The black type performer hasn’t raced since he finished a close eighth in the Gr.1 Livamol Classic (2040m) in the spring.

“He’s had a jump-out here at Pukekohe recently and he’s going well,” Tiley said.

“He goes well fresh and hopefully there’ll be some rain around for the Easter.”

Megablast has proved a versatile performer with two first-up wins over 1600m among his eight career victories and has placed in the Gr.2 Avondale Cup (2400m) and the Gr.3 Waikato Cup (2400m). He also finished fourth in last season’s Gr.1 Auckland Cup (3200m).

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The Easter was also to have been on The Justice League’s programme, but a paddock mishap has ruled him out for the season.

“He was playing around and bruised a tendon,” Tiley said. “We’ve had it rescanned and it’s healing really well.

“We could probably have pressed on with him, but by the time he was fit again the tracks would be too wet so he’ll have a good break.

“He’s still growing up and he’s a horse that’s so full of energy that he gets himself into a bit of strife.

His temperament has improved and with another six months he’ll be better, we haven’t seen the best of him yet.”

The Justice League has won five races, including the Gr.2 Wellington Guineas (1400m).