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 New Zealand Gallops News 
Saturday, April 01 2017

Melody Belle made the absolute most of her Group One opportunity at Awapuni when the outstanding filly powered to victory to complete a memorable two-year-old double.

Melody Belle - Race Images Palmerston North

Forced to bypass the Sistema Stakes at Ellerslie due to a viral complaint, she followed up her Karaka Million success by claiming major honours in Saturday's Courtesy Ford Manawatu Sires' Produce Stakes.

"She's done nothing but improve in the last couple of weeks," said Stephen Autridge, who trains the juvenile with Jamie Richards.

"She always looked like she was travelling like the winner."

Melody Belle, who had indicated her readiness with a recent lead-up trial success on her home track, settled behind the pace under Michael McNab.

"We had a beautiful run and she started to pull a bit, but then came back to me and switched off," he said.

McNab drove the daughter of Commands between runners in the straight and she powered to the post for her third win in five appearances.

"We got the split and she was very strong to the line," he said.

Belle du Nord settled among the tailenders and she finished on well in the run home with Joyfilly, who raced on the pace, boxing on bravely for third. Star Treasure and Hard Merchandize were the next two home.

A $57,500 Karaka yearling, Melody Belle was sold through the draft of Haunui Farm and is out Meleka Belle, a daughter of the Karaka stud's shuttle stallion Iffraaj.

Melody Belle is raced by a John Galvin-managed syndicate and her victory completed a successful three days for the principal of Fortuna NZ.

On Thursday evening, his company purchased the well-performed stayer Chance To Dance for $A260,000 at the inaugural Inglis Chairman's Sale of Elite Racing Prospects in Sydney.

"He's extremely ready-made, is a genuine live prospect in the Sydney Cup next week and our due diligence suggests that he is indeed a very sound and capable horse," Galvin said.

"He's won over 2400 metres in February at Caulfield and after getting a bit further back than intended he finished fourth in the Adelaide Cup so clearly 3200 metres is not beyond him."

Autridge and Richards will put the finishing touches on Chance To Dance for the Sydney Cup and the son of Teofilo could also be part of their team at the Queensland winter carnival later in the year.

Posted by: Racing Desk AT 11:48 am   |  Permalink   |  Email