Melody Belle dominant in Bonecrusher Stakes at Ellerslie – sets new record for Group One wins – her 14th

Two time New Zealand Horse of The Year Melody Belle took no prisoners at Ellerslie yesterday when taking out the time honoured Bonecrusher New Zealand Stakes (Group One – 2000m) in dominant fashion and in doing so, set a new record for Group One wins by a New Zealand trained horse.  Having equalled the mighty Sunline’s Group One record of 13 ones at Trentham on 30th January, Melody Belle was expected to break the record when attempting the Herbie Dyke Stakes at Te Rapa on 13th of February, however a chequered run in transit saw her finish in a well beaten 9th place.

In the minds of many form analysts and punters, that failure led to some questions being asked as to her form, however with a completely dominant performance at Ellerslie, the Champion Mare erased all of the doubts as to her class. In the week leading up to the race her trainer Jamie Richards and jockey Troy Harris were extremely confident that she was ready to put in an outstanding performance and so it proved. Settled in the running by Harris four back and one out, she was content to to travel nicely in the run and as the pace quickened prior to the turn Troy got her going, although she was last as they turned for home and the great mare had to endure a bump from Royal Performer as well, but shrugging that off, she then mounted a powerful run down the centre of the track and went to the line a length clear of her Te Akau stablemate Avantage in second place

Click HERE to see race result and Video replay

Melody Belle winning the Bonecrusher NZ Stakes with an exultant Troy Harris in the saddle


Fortuna Syndications director John Galvin was hosting a big group of Melody Belle’s owners on course and was a very happy and emotional man after the race. “Yes, it’s a huge relief that she was able to win today given her last start failure, but to be honest it wasn’t a surprise – her work had been exceptional and we went into today’s race with a lot of confidence – big kudos to Jamie Richards, who has done such a marvellous job with this mare throughout her career – as for Troy Harris what can I say other than just a great ride.  For the record Troy has now written Melody Belle four times in Group 1 races and is unbeaten on her. Amazingly he has ridden Fortuna horses on 14 occasions for 11 wins, including 5 Group One wins – a simply amazing record. I also want to thank David Ellis for securing this wonderful mare for us at the 2016 New Zealand Bloodstock Yearling sale, a really big thank you to all of the staff at the Te Akau Racing Stables who simply love Melody Belle to bits and a special thanks to Nicole Shailer who strapped Melody Belle for us today”


Melody Belle returns to scale – Troy Harris aboard and (from left) Nicole Shailer (strapped) Shane Thomsen, Marlene Thomsen and Ian Upson (Owners)


Melody Belle, who was purchased by David Ellis for Fortuna for $57,500, has now had 38 starts for 19 wins – all but one of those wins have been at Group or Listed level and she has won $4.22 million in career prize money