Jamie Richards with Melody Belle

Jamie Richards with Melody Belle (Image: Trish Dunell)

Kiwi Belle bypasses All-Star Mile

A possible tilt at a Cox Plate next spring combined with a busy summer schedule has put paid to Kiwi mare Melody Belle’s hopes of an All-Star Mile tilt.

"There’s a bit too much uncertainty around and it’s been a busy year so we just don’t think it’s the right thing to do by the horse at this stage," Te Akau Racing’s trainer Jamie Richards said on Monday afternoon.

"What we are thinking of doing is giving her a run at 2000 metres here (New Zealand) which will probably help shape where we head to next season.

"We’re reasonably confident she’ll run 2000 metres and if that was to be the case and if that was to be the case we’d like to get her ready for our triple crown at Hastings here in the spring and then probably look at bringing her to Australian after that."

Melody Belle has been the star in New Zealand this season with five Group 1 victories and has been touted as a likely earner of an All-Star wildcard.

But while Richards said a rushed trip to Australia for the March 16 All-Star Mile at Flemington would be manageable it would not be in the best interests of the horse.

"It’s certainly doable but it’s probably not doable after three runs in the spring and five runs over the summer."

Melody Belle won her tenth race from her 19th start last Saturday when a clear winner of the Group 1 Haunui Farm Classic (1600m) at Otaki.