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Melody Belle to Head Home to NZ Ahead of Final Autumn Preparation

Kiwi star Melody Belle will head home to New Zealand after her smash-and-grab attempt at the Mackinnon Stakes (2000m), where she finished third behind winner Arcadia Queen on Saturday.

Melody Belle Fortuna Syndicate manager John Galvin said that connections were pleased enough with the performance, adding another Group 1 placing to her resume and some $180,000 to her career earnings.

“Jye said she gave him a great ride in the race. He thought he was on the winner on the turn but she was just a bit flat-footed when the other two horses (Arcadia Queen and Fifty Stars) went past her.

“He said that if the track had been just a bit off that she would have had a better turn of foot.”

“We have no regrets. She deserved the opportunity and we could’ve taken the easy options here of going to the Captain Cook (Group One, 1600m) and the Zabeel Classic (Group One, 2000m), but we decided to give her a chance.

“It didn’t quite pay off in terms of a victory, but certainly financially it did her no harm with $180,000 (AUD) banked for third, and it did her CV no harm either.”

Galvin said that they would attempt to equal or surpass Sunline’s record of 13 Group 1 victories in the autumn, before retiring Melody Belle and auctioning her as a broodmare.

“She comes home on Thursday and will go to the paddock at Te Akau for three weeks before we bring her back into work,” Galvin said.

“Jamie and I have yet to discuss a clear set of plans, but our priorities will be to race her in New Zealand until we equal or surpass the ‘Sunline Record’ for Group Ones.

“Although she’s sound and we think she could race on as a seven-year-old, she’s had five full seasons of racing,” Galvin said.

“She doesn’t owe any of us a cent and we don’t want her limping into retirement.

“She’ll go to a public auction, that’s not yet determined where that will be, but at the end of the season, she’ll be sold.

“It’s been a great thrill for us all. I’m sure there’s going to be a few tears in the eyes when she has her last race, but she’s brought so much pleasure to so many people.”