Another Te Akau Champion 2YO
11 Sep 2017
Te Akau filly Melody Belle (Commands) was named Champion Two-Year-Old during the 2017 New Zealand Racing Awards at the Langham Hotel on Sunday 10 September in Auckland.
By *record-breaking sire Commands (Danehill) from first crop Iffraaj (Zafonic) mare Meleka Belle, Melody Belle was bred by Marie Leicester, prepared for sale by Haunui Farm, and owned by the Fortuna Melody Belle Syndicate (Mgr: John Galvin).
From debut winner to Group One winner of the Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) at her fifth start, with a stunning Karaka Million (Listed, 1200m) victory in between, the filly purchased by Te Akau principal David Ellis for $57,500 at the 2016 NZB Premier Yearling Sale was a revelation.
Trained by Stephen Autridge & Jamie Richards, her season record of four wins and a third from seven starts earned $865,444 in prize money.
Ellis had previously said: “Melody Belle was the only New Zealand two-year-old to win this season at group level in Australia, when she won the Sires’ Produce (Gr. 2, 1400m) in Brisbane, and we are particularly proud of what she achieved in her first season of racing.”
“It’s not easy to compare horses, and we’ve had Champion Two-Year-Olds Darci Brahma, Maroofity, Warhorse, and War Affair, but the way Melody Belle won those three big races (Karaka Million and two Sires’ Produce Stakes (NZ & Brisbane)) said to me that in thirty years of buying, syndicating, and training horses that she’s as a good a two-year-old as we’ve ever had.”
John Galvin accepted the award on behalf of the 34 owners:
“Being a syndicator, for eleven years now, we’ve had good horses and won a Group One before.
“You go to the sales and buy a filly that you think is the type that could win the Karaka Million and you promote it as a filly we think can win the Karaka Million, and it does so and you’ve only paid $57,500 for her then it is a dream come true.
“There are a couple of people on the stage, here, Trevor & Debbie Waters, that heard me talk on Radio Trackside about Melody Belle, so Trevor picked up the phone and said he’d take a ten percent share. So that’s how it can work.
“I do want to acknowledge Te Akau Racing. David Ellis has been selecting and buying horses for me for 15 years. David, you’ve always done a great job and you’ve excelled yourself on this one. And to Stephen & Jamie and their team, I’m sure they’d be the first to say that Melody Belle is an easy horse to train.
They have never a missed a beat with this horse and it’s just great to be involved with the Te Akau team.”
Galvin said that Melody Belle had a good spell of eight to nine weeks in the paddock following her campaign in Brisbane, is now back in work, been on the walker for three weeks, and after a couple of trials in October and November, and a lead up race, the $200,000 Sistema Railway (Gr. 1, 1200m) would be her primary target on 1 January at Ellerslie.
*Commands set an Australian record of 155 individual winners in the 2010-11 racing season.