Melody Belle to back up in Queen Elizabeth Stakes
New Zealand champion Melody Belle will take on stablemate Te Akau Shark in the Group One Queen Elizabeth Stakes, a week after her gallant fourth in the Doncaster Mile.
The mare will be ridden by Kerrin McEvoy with Te Akau Racing’s stable rider Opie Bosson to stick with Te Akau Shark.
Melody Belle was three and four-wide for most of Saturday’s Doncaster and, although she moved into the race at the top of the straight, her top weight of 57kg told in the end.
Nettoyer, who carried 51.5kg, won from Star Of The Seas (53kg) and Brandenburg (50.5kg).
“We didn’t get any luck, but she loomed on the turn and she looked like a strong winning chance with 300 metres to go,” Fortuna Syndicate manager John Galvin told NZ Racing Desk.
“The lighter weighted horses just ran past her in the last little bit.
“The Queen Elizabeth was her primary goal and we needed to find a race between the All-Star Mile and the Queen Elizabeth.
“She did her best under the weight and if she backs up next week in the Queen Elizabeth, which is our plan, she will be back to weight-for-age and up to 2000 metres.”
While disappointed he was unable to be in Sydney for the race because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Galvin said her large group of syndicate members were cheering her on throughout New Zealand.
“I am sure there were people up and down the country all watching from inside their bubbles. It is a shame we couldn’t be there, but that’s the way it is,” he said.
“She is a flagship horse for us and Te Akau Racing and it has been a wonderful ride for all of us and it is great to have a horse like that in the team.”
Japanese horse Danon Premium and Engllish visitor Addeybb, winner of the Ranvet Stakes, are the $4 equal Queen Elizabeth favourites.
James McDonald will ride Danon Premium ($4.50) with Nash Rawiller aboard Tancred Stakes winner Verry Elleegant ($6).