Jamie Richards with Melody Belle

Melody Belle and trainer Jamie Richards (Image: Trish Dunell)

Big Melody Belle offer rejected

Champion New Zealand mare Melody Belle has been the subject of a significant Australian offer to purchase her as a broodmare but connections of the six-time Group 1 winner have rejected the offer.

"The offer amount was NZ$3.25 million," Fortuna Syndications Director John Galvin said.

However, after consultation between Galvin and syndicate members, the offer was declined.

"Clearly this was a very significant offer for our wonderful race mare, presented by a genuine and well-regarded Australian-based breeding operation," Galvin said.

"Accordingly, the offer was put in front of the 34 syndicate members for consideration - the outcome was that 100 per cent of the membership chose to decline the offer.

"Members felt very strongly that Melody Belle had yet to reach her potential as a racehorse and should be allowed to race on under the current ownership until such time as she was ready to retire from racing.

"Members also expressed the view that she was a well-loved race horse by the New Zealand racing public and in what are difficult times for New Zealand Racing, any future success on the race track would boost the profile and spirits of thoroughbred racing in New Zealand.

"As syndicate manager, I was humbled by this response from our members and very pleased that she will continue to grace race tracks here in New Zealand and Australia."

Melody Belle won five of her Group 1s in the current season and is all but guaranteed the title of New Zealand Horse of the Year.

The Jamie Richards-trained mare has won 11 of her 20 starts and will be set for a tilt at the G1 Cox Plate (2040m) when she returns for her five-year-old season.