Melody Belle keeps Triple Crown dream alive with Windsor Park Plate victory

Melody Belle and Opie Bosson have the situation well under control as they head to victory at Hastings Photo: Trish Dunell

Recently crowned New Zealand Horse of the Year, Melody Belle made it Group One victory number eight in emphatic fashion when she dominated her rivals in the Gr.1 Windsor Park Plate (1600m) at

The Jamie Richards-trained five-year-old repeated her deeds of last season when she took out Saturday’s feature event after capturing the Gr.1 Tarzino Trophy (1400m) on the first day of the Bostock
New Zealand Spring Carnival for the second year in a row.

No horse has ever completed the Hawke’s Bay Triple Crown with a subsequent win in the Gr.1 Livamol Classic (2040m) on the last day of the carnival with Melody Belle’s connections now focussed on having
their champion mare become the first to achieve the feat.

“That was just amazing and her eighth Group One win,” Fortuna Melody Belle syndicate manager John Gavin said.

“Words fail me really as it was just fantastic.

“We are humbled about the opportunity (to win the Triple Crown) as we have seen some really good horses such as Starcraft and Seachange fail so it is a great honour and a privilege to be able to come
and have a go at that occasion.”

A perfect ride from Opie Bosson set the platform for the performance as he guided Melody Belle into a perfect one out position in behind the early speed before unleashing her at the top of the straight.

Bosson unleashed the brakes at the 300m and the mare bolted clear, easing down to win untouched by three lengths form a game Sultan Of Swing, who chased her hard, and Mongolian Marshal who also
finished off well for third.

Bosson was in awe of the Commands mare as he described the ease of the victory.

“She’s just amazing, right from when she was a two-year-old and on to now,” he said.

“It’s been an amazing job by Jamie and the whole team at Te Akau, for what they have done, and for her to keep winning the way she has.

“She’s just got that will to win and doesn’t know when to say never. Every time she goes out, she gives you 110 percent and if she does go a bad race there is obviously something wrong.

“I got into a good spot as they went quite hard. I got going a bit earlier than I had planned but we were just going too good.”

A $57,500 purchase by Te Akau Racing principal David Ellis, from the Haunui Farm draft at the 2016 National yearling Sale, Melody Belle has now won thirteen of her 23 starts, eight Group One’s and over
$1,867m in prizemoney.

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