WADDELL PICKS UP MELODY BELLE RIDE

Jason Waddell has snared the plum ride on star sprinter Melody Belle in Saturday week’s Gr.1 JR & N Berkett Telegraph (1200m) at Trentham.
Waddell gained the ride on the $1.90 favourite after Te Akau Racing’s stable jockey Opie Bosson was suspended for careless riding at Matamata on Wednesday.
“The old saying goes if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em and after getting beaten up by her all spring, I am very grateful to Fortuna and Te Akau Racing for the opportunity to ride their wonderful mare Melody Belle in next week’s Telegraph,” Waddell said.
Shafiq Rusof had ridden Melody Belle to Group One wins in the Tarzino Trophy (1400m) and Windsor Park Plate (1600m) at Hastings in the spring and her luckless second in the Gr.1 Railway (1200m) at Ellerslie last week but was also unavailable through suspension.
Fortuna Syndications boss John Galvin said: “Jamie Richards and I had a good look at the rider options. Jason is riding in great form and was available, so he is on.”
Richards was gutted for Bosson but happy to have Waddell aboard.
“Our stable is a big team and Opie is very much part of that. It’s tough not having him on and everyone’s pretty upset to be fair. But Jason’s a very capable jockey and he’s riding very well. We’re pleased to have him on.”
Bosson’s suspension begins after racing at Ellerslie on Sunday and ends after racing at Te Rapa on Sunday week.
Among other rides he misses on Wellington Cup day are Gr.1 Thorndon Mile (1600m) contender Shadows Cast and Gr.3 Desert Gold Stakes (1600m) hopeful Savy Yong Blonk.