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Melody Belle Fitter Than Probabeel
Originally earmarked to begin her spring campaign in the Gr1 Winx Stakes (1400m), kiwi superstar mare Melody Belle is now set to tackle the Gr2 Missile Stakes (1200m) first-up, with the Queen of New Zealand’s turf notoriously needing the hit-out, reports NZ Racing Desk. “She’s in good shape, she’s coming along well,” revealed trainer Jamie Richards who is relying on input from Ashley Handler (see above. “She’s a mare that as she’s got older she’s needed a run so we’ve been very mindful of that… By having her fit and ready to go early and running in the Missile, hopefully she’s really ready to crank up in the Winx Stakes.” It’s a method that has historically worked well for the multiple Group 1 winner. Meanwhile, Richards said stablemate Probabeel is a little bit behind Melody Belle in her preparation, but she too is being set for a trial later this month. “She has done the same amount of work but we are just trying to stay away from the weight-for-age races with her initially. She’ll trial on [28 July with Melody Belle] and then a couple of weeks again after that.” The lan is to then run Probabeel in a handicap on 22 August.