MELODY BELLE CLOSE TO RETURN

Triple Group One winner Melody Belle pleased her connections with her 1000m trial win at Te Aroha on Tuesday.

It was the second trial this preparation for the four-year-old daughter of Commands who was freshened after an undefeated spring campaign, where she won the Gr.2 Lisa Chittick Foxbridge Plate (1200m) fresh-up, followed by Group One Successes in the Tarzino Trophy (1400m) and Windsor Park Plate (1600m).

“We were pleased with how she trialled at Matamata, and she’d trained on well since then,” trainer Jamie Richards said.

“She’s trialled well again and everything is on track. She did a bit in the trial, and they ran time, but she had a blow and that will tighten her up nicely.”

Melody Belle will be set for more elite level targets this season, with the Gr.1 Sistema Railway (1200m) at Ellerslie on New Year’s day the first on her hit-list.

“She’s a bigger, stronger mare now and handling her work really well,” Richards said.

“The two weeks freshen-up after winning three in a row through the spring has done her the world of good and we can push on with a bit of confidence.”

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