Melody Belle chimes in with vic­tory

Matamata Chronicle - - Motoring - DEN­NIS RYAN

Mata­mata horses made Sun­day’s lu­cra­tive Karaka Mil­lion meet­ing their own with wins by Melody Belle and Volpe Ve­loce in the two big races on the Eller­slie twi­light pro­gramme.

Melody Belle wasn’t fan­cied by pun­ters and she started at bet­ter than 30-to-one, but she proved by far the best on the day as she raced clear to beat the two favourites, Hasa­halo and Fel­ton Road.

A cru­cial fac­tor in the win was the ride by Opie Bos­son, re­cently reap­pointed as sta­ble jockey for Te Akau Rac­ing and yet again show­ing his worth with a pic­ture perfect per­for­mance.

From an in­side gate Opie found a spot one off the fence track­ing the two lead­ers.

Opie then pushed her for­ward to take a clear lead soon af­ter straight­en­ing and from that point never looked like be­ing headed.

Vic­tory in the $1 mil­lion fea­ture by the Stephen Autridge/ Jamie Richards-trained filly, who cost just $57,500 at last year’s Karaka year­ling sale, was a case of third time lucky for John Galvin’s For­tuna Syn­di­cates.

‘‘For­tuna have had starters in this race twice be­fore.

‘‘To win it on our third at­tempt is a fan­tas­tic achieve­ment,’’ said the for­mer Mata­mata res­i­dent, who works along­side Te Akau prin­ci­pal David El­lis to source young horses and then syn­di­cate them.

Like past oc­ca­sions when syn­di­cated horses such as Go Rac­ing’s Ruud Awak­en­ing took away the lion’s share of the Karaka Mil­lion pot of gold, the Eller­slie bird­cage was a sea of smiles as mem­bers of the For­tuna Melody Belle Syn­di­cate high-fived and hugged.

As an ad­ver­tise­ment for syn­di­ca­tion – and es­pe­cially on the eve of the Na­tional Year­ling Sale at Karaka – there’s no bet­ter pro­mo­tion than a horde of like­minded peo­ple en­joy­ing the ul­ti­mate thrill.

And what bet­ter rea­son for David El­lis and as­so­ci­ates to once again lead the way on the first day of the coun­try’s ma­jor thor­ough­bred auc­tion with 14 pur­chases to­talling $2.1 mil­lion.

As for Melody Belle, she’s rated a 50-50 chance to front up on her home track for the J Swap Con­trac­tors Mata­mata Breed­ers’ Stakes on Fe­bru­ary 25.

The Gr. 1 Di­a­mond Stakes back at Eller­slie in March will be her ma­jor late sum­mer tar­get.

NZ RAC­ING DESK

Opie Bos­son cel­e­brates as Melody Belle wins the Karaka Mil­lion at Eller­slie on Sun­day.

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