Horse of a lifetime Melody Belle has taken elite Kiwi jockey Opie Bosson on a magical mystery tour and he can’t wait to go back to the future and ride the 14-time Group 1 winner in her swan song in Queensland.
The Sunshine State was where Melody Belle announced herself to Australian racing fans, with Bosson steering her to an epic winning romp in the Group 2 BRC Sires’ Produce Stakes in 2017.
Kiwi racing fans already knew what she could do, with the then two-year-old filly already having claimed the Karaka Million and Group 1 NZ Sires’ Produce en route to Queensland.
But her devastating near five-length win at Eagle Farm made Aussies sit up and take notice.
Now, after adding another 13 Group 1s to her glittering resume, Melody Belle returns to Queensland to contest Saturday’s Group 2 Hollindale Stakes (1800m) on the Gold Coast on the way to her probable final hurrah in the Group 1 Doomben Cup a fortnight later.
Bosson is flying out from New Zealand later this week to ride his favourite horse and he knows there will be plenty of emotion.
“It’s a really big thrill for me to get back on her and ride her in her swan song,” Bosson, speaking from New Zealand, told The Courier Mail.
“For sure she has been my favourite horse, she has been so good for me and my family.
“And she has always been just such a lovely horse to deal with as she has such a lovely nature.
“She just had a nice quiet trial to prepare for Saturday and one thing I can say about her for sure, you can’t underestimate her.”
Melody Belle winning the Group 2 Sires’ Produce Stakes in her first Australian run at Eagle Farm in 2017. Picture: Grant Peters/Trackside PhotographySource:Supplied
The travel bubble between New Zealand and Australia has cleared the way for Bosson to jet Down Under, just as he did when riding Kiwi filly Amarelinha into fourth in the Group 1 Australian Oaks last month.
Tab.com.au has Melody Belle sharing $6 favouritism for Saturday’s Hollindale with Avilius and Zaaki in what promises to be a cracking race and a terrific pointer for the Doomben Cup.
Melody Belle has already won more Group 1 races than Sunline (13) and if successful in the Doomben Cup, she will match unbeaten Black Caviar’s 15 Group 1 wins.
Of her 14 Group 1s, Melody Belle has won 13 of them in her Kiwi homeland with the exception being the 2019 Empire Rose Stakes at Flemington.
The six-year-old mare, in the twilight of her racing career, has amassed more than $4 million in prizemoney.
At this stage, Bosson is only planning a hit-and-run mission to Queensland for Melody Belle’s swan song starts but that could change.
“If I got some good offers to ride other horses (during the carnival), I would probably think about it,” Bosson said.
Meanwhile, the racing future of pizza-eating two-time Group 1 winner Nettoyer is clouded.
Nettoyer had been entered for Saturday’s Hollindale but trainer Wendy Roche indicated on Tuesday that she was to be sold at Friday’s Chairman’s Sale.
Roche said the future was unclear but she was hoping the mare remained in her care as she insisted she was racing well enough to contest top races in the winter carnival.
Nettoyer won the Group 1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes at her most recent start last month and the seven-year-old has pocketed more than $2.5 million in career prizemoney.
Originally published asBosson goes back to the future with his Belle
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