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$57,500 Purchase Melody Belle Wins Karaka Million

$57,500 Purchase Melody Belle Wins Karaka Million

Sunday, Jan 29, 2017

Melody Belle (NZ) (Commands), purchased for $57,500 by perennial leading buyer David Ellis at Karaka last year, won ten times that amount in just over a minute when she scored an outstanding win in the 10th Karaka Million at Ellerslie today.

Ridden by Opie Bosson for trainers Stephen Autridge and Jamie Richards and owners the Fortuna Melody Belle Syndicate, the filly sat in fourth place before bursting to the lead soon after the field turned for home. Hasahalo (NZ) (Savabeel) and Felton Road (NZ) (Pins) tried hard to run her down, but she was out of reach and won by a length and a quarter.

“This is a great thrill,” said John Galvin, who manages the Fortuna syndicates. “A lot of existing Fortuna clients are in this horse, but there are some very excited newbies as well. It’s fantastic.”

Richards said the win was a fantastic boost for the stable ahead of Karaka 2017, during which Ellis is once again expected to be a force to be reckoned with on the buyers’ bench.

“It’s a huge buzz,” he said. “Full credit to everyone in the team. David does a great job of buying these horses. We’ll all be out there at Karaka tomorrow and trying to buy the next one!

“The team at home have done a great job with this filly as well, and Opie gave her a great ride. It shows the difference a jockey like him can make in a million-dollar race.

“I’m thrilled for John as well, he puts a lot into the industry.”

Melody Belle was bred by Mrs Marie Leicester, and she was offered by Haunui Farm at the 2016 Premier Sale. This was the second time in three years that Haunui Farm sold the Karaka Million winner, having also consigned the 2015 winner Hardline (NZ) (Showcasing).

The Million winner’s dam is Meleka Belle (NZ), whose sire Iffraaj also sired last year’s Karaka Million winner Xiong Feng (NZ). The filly descends from the Leicester family’s famous Belle dynasty.

Melody Belle has now had four starts for two wins and a placing, earning $564,075 in prizemoney for her overjoyed connections. She now has the Group 1 Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Ellerslie and the Group 1 Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) at Awapuni in her sights.

The 2017 National Yearling Sales Series, which begins tomorrow at 10am, features a half-sister to the Karaka Million winner. A filly by O’Reilly will be offered by Haunui Farm as Lot 850 in the Select Sale.

VendorHaunui Farm
PurchaserDavid Ellis, Te Akau
BreedingCommands - Meleka Belle
SaleLot 395, 2016 Premier Sale, $57,500

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