Sydney Plans For Melody Belle

Courtesy of The Informant – Denis Ryan
Melody Belle is off to Sydney after her imoressive return to form at Ellerslie last weekend.

Melody Belle is off to Sydney after her imoressive return to form at Ellerslie last weekend.

A Sydney campaign has been confirmed for last season’s champion two-year-old Melody Belle.

The Commands filly was back to her best form with an easy win in the Gr. 3 Mongolian Khan Trophy at Ellerslie last Saturday. That came on the anniversary of her Karaka Million win, after which she added the Gr. 1 Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes and Gr. 2 BRC Sires’ Produce Stakes.

Such was the ease of her latest win, connections have been able to set a programme which has been confirmed today for the Stephen Autridge/Jamie Richards-trained filly.

“It was a hands and heels win which meant she went home, ate up and bounced through it beautifully,” said John Galvin, manager of the Fortuna Syndicate that races Melody Belle.“What we needed to see was not just a win but a win with authority. Now we’ve got that confidence so we figure let’s have a throw at the stumps.””

“Jamie has been talking to James Ross at the Australian Turf Club and after looking at the options we’ve decided that her first run will be over 1200 metres in the Gr. 2 Light Fingers Stakes at Randwick on February 17, followed by the Gr. 1 Surround Stakes over 1400 metres on March 3.

“If she performs up to expectations she’ll be freshened up and drop back to 1200 metres for the Royal Sovereign Stakes at Randwick on Sydney Cup day. The two earlier races are for fillies but this one is an open sex three-year-old.

“It’s for a stake of A$600,000 and it’s a race that at this stage we think she’s up for,” added Galvin.

Galvin is now going through the syndication process with three purchases from Book 1 of the National Yearling Sale ranging in price from $80,000 to $95,000.

“The Iffraaj-Champagne Katie filly looks like a two-year-old Karaka Million type, the Medaglia d’Oro-Kablues filly will be a stayer, and the Darci Brahma-Sweet Dreams Baby colt is a brother to two Fortuna Stakes Winning Fillies, Darci’s Dream and Windborne.

“All three of our new purchases cost less than $100,000 each, so that makes them very attractive to put syndicates together.”