MELODY BELLE makes history in winning the Hawkes Bay Triple Crown

It seemed inevitable, but she still had to do it – Horse of the Year Melody Belle (5 m Commands – Meleka Belle, by Iffraaj) is the Bostock New Zealand Spring Carnival Triple Crown winner after a pulverising victory in the $250,000 Livamol Classic (Gr. 1, 2040m) on Saturday at Hastings.

In doing so, the Queen of the Turf became the first ever to accomplish the Triple Crown Victory

World-class galloper Starcraft (Soviet Star), a five time Group One winner that claimed titles of Champion 3YO in Australia, Champion Sprinter in New Zealand, and Champion Miler in Europe, tried but failed. Multiple Horse of the Year Seachange (Cape Cross), winner of seven Group One races, tried but failed, and Champion Three-Year-old and Horse of the Year Jimmy Choux (Thorn Park), winner of five Group Ones, tried but failed.

It took Melody Belle – securing her ninth Group One victory – trainer Jamie Richards, and rider Opie Bosson to get the job done. And she did it by three and a half lengths, no problem. Although, it appeared a touch awkward early in the race when Bosson, conscious of not being shuffled back on the inner, took the bull by the horns and worked off the rail heading into the back straight.

Click HERE to see the Race Result and Video Replay

But, as she did when repeating her first two leg wins, in the Tarzino Trophy (Gr. 1, 1400m) and Windsor Park Plate (Gr. 1, 1600m), Melody Belle ranged into the clear and distanced the opposition to take her place in racing royalty.

“I’m really proud of her and it’s an absolute result,” said Richards, in Australia, preparing stable-mates Probabeel and Te Akau Shark for Group One races at Randwick.“She’s achieved what no other horse in history has been able to do. She’s had a great preparation and I thought it was a terrific ride with Opie, getting her out at the right time and, yes, she did the rest. Everything has gone to plan and staff at home has done a great job with her, and a big thank you to John Galvin and his team. She’s been a marvel. David Ellis did a great job to buy her in the first place and she’s rewarding everyone involved with life long memories. It really is quite amazing, the way she has developed and what she has achieved, and again, a big thanks to all the staff who have really stepped up while I’ve been away.”


Melody Belle – Hawkes Bay Triple Crown – Livamol Classic – 5th October 2019

Te Akau Principal David Ellis purchased the reigning Horse of the Year as a yearling for $57,500 at the 2016 New Zealand Bloodstock Premier Sale, from the draft of Haunui Farm, on the account of breeder Marie Leicester. She has now won 14 of her 24 starts and $2 million in prize money for owners in the Fortuna Melody Belle Syndicate – Managed by John Galvin).

“It’s the thrill of a lifetime to buy a mare that won the Karaka Million as a two-year-old filly and train on to keep getting better and better,” Ellis said. “We bought her at New Zealand Bloodstock’s Premier Sale and it’s just great the way it’s worked out. Jamie Richards has done an incredible job training her to win all these races and it’s one of the greatest days I’ve had on a racecourse.”

Unbeaten in all seven rides aboard Melody Belle, Opie Bosson said: “A big thanks to all the team at home at Te Akau Racing. David Ellis, I wouldn’t be here today without Dave, who has helped keep me on the straight and narrow and overseen me at the gym.

“I’d like to thank John Galvin and team. I’m very honoured to ride the horse and a big thank you to Melody Belle.”

On behalf of the large syndicate of owners (37), Fortuna Syndications Director John Galvin said: “As I said to people before the race, we’re standing on the crest of history and now we’ve done it. So, it’s an incredible feeling to have come here today and win this very elusive Triple Crown. She’s probably the best she’s ever been and while it’s never over till it’s over, there was a lot of confidence in the camp beforehand, just because of how well she had been working and eating and that sort of thing. She’s 1 in 10,000 and the sort of horse you dream about. She keeps stepping up year after year. This is her fourth season of racing the top level adt and words fail me, really. It was life changing when she won the Karaka Million. The fact that she’s gone on now and won nine Group Ones, it’s incredibly life changing. A big thank you to big Jamie Richards, not here today, but with the team in Sydney, and all his Te Akau team that has done such a great job all the way through. And to Opie Bosson, who has won seven out of seven on this mare, Mette, our strapper, who shed a bucket of tears after the race, and last but not least, to all the members that own Melody Belle, many of whom are here today and for quite a few of them she is their very first racehorse ever.”

Melody Belle was strapped by Mette Mosebo.