Melody Belle has again produced a faultless performance on the Karaka Million stage.
Twelve months ago, the top filly was the headline act when she was victorious in the two-year-old feature and at Ellerslie on Saturday she was back to claim top undercard honours in the Group 3 Mongolian Khan Trophy (1200m).
In between times the Stephen Autridge and Jamie-Richards trained daughter of Commands has won the Group 1 Manawatu Sires Produce Stakes (1400m) and the Group 2 BRC Sires Produce Stakes (1400m).
“I don’t think she’s ever been better,” Autridge said in the wake of Melody Belle’s latest success.
She was given a cosy run in the trail by stable jockey Opie Bosson and once they were into the clear soon after straightening the race was all over.
“She was full of running turning in and I didn’t have to go for the stick,” he said. “She did it all under her own steam, I was just the pilot.”
Melody Belle was sent out a less than even money favourite and she won like it, gliding clear in the closing 150m to have a wide margin on runner-up Astor and Gift Of Power.
“That was a really good effort, things haven’t gone her way in her last couple of starts and back to her own age group today it was an exciting win,” Richards said.
The Group 1 BCD Group Sprint (1400m) at Te Rapa on February 19 is a possible next step for the filly and another trip across the Tasman is up for discussion.
Saturday’s result was also welcomed by Melody Belle’s breeder Marie Leicester, who will offer a half-sister (Lot 371) by Not A Single Doubt through the Haunui Farm draft at the Book 1 Sale at Karaka on Tuesday