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Melody Belle Crowned NZ Horse of the Year
Boasting a sensational five Gr1 victories to her name during the 2018-19 season, superstar Karaka graduate Melody Belle (NZ) (Commands) was a runaway winner of the New Zealand Horse of the Year title at Sunday night’s awards ceremony at Ellerslie Racecourse. Knocked down to Te Akau Racing principal David Ellis for $57,500 at the 2016 NZB Premier Sale, Melody Belle made an immediate impact with brilliant victories in the Karaka Million (1200m) and Gr1 Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) as a two-year-old. But she went to a new level during her four-year-old campaign in 2018-19, winning the Tarzino Trophy (1400m), Windsor Park Plate (1600m), BCD Group Sprint (1400m), Haunui Farm WFA Classic (1600m) and Bonecrusher New Zealand Stakes (2000m) – all at elite level. Underlining her dominance, from 61 votes cast in Horse of the Year voting, Melody Belle received 59. The Jamie Richards-trained mare won six of her eight starts during the 2018-19 season and earned $701,500 for owners the Fortuna Melody Belle Syndicate. Also crowned Champion Sprinter-Miler, overall, Melody Belle has had 22 starts in her career for 12 wins, seven of them at Gr1 level. She has earned $1.75 million – more than 30 times her purchase price.