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Melody Belle Heading Home to New Zealand

Star Kiwi mare Melody Belle is heading back home to New Zealand after her two unconvincing runs this preparation in Sydney.

The 10-time Group 1 winner has been unplaced in both runs, finishing last in the Group 2 Missile Stakes (1200m), and 11th out of 16 runners in the Group 1 Winx Stakes (1400m).

Trainer Jamie Richards has admitted that the six-year-old may not have come back in as good condition as previous campaigns, when speaking to the NZ Herald.

“She is a very, very good mare but maybe, just maybe, she is a yard off where she was last season,” Richards said.

“We don’t know that for sure but that is my suspicion, and in Australia, at that level, there are no easy races.”

Melody Belle has a flight booked back to New Zealand on Sunday, confirmed Fortuna Syndications director John Galvin.

“We thought it’d be better to take the uncertainty out of it, pull the pin on her spring campaign in Australia, bring her back here and aim her at some of the spring and summer targets. If she goes well, we can look at Australia in autumn and look at The All-Star Mile and races like that.”

Watch: Melody Belle finish midfield in the Group 1 Winx Stakes (1400m).