Melody Belle has become the first horse to win New Zealand’s spring triple crown at Hastings and staked her claim for the Cox Plate.
The mare ran out an easy winner of Saturday’s Livamol Classic over 2040 metres, the same distance as Australasia’s weight-for-age championship in three weeks.
Her jockey Opie Bosson said the NZ horse of the year deserved all the accolades to come her way.
“She’s such a darling,” Bosson said. “We got bumped around a little bit in the first half of the race, but I ended up getting her out of trouble and then she just cruised into it. I just love her.
“To win these three Group One races at 1400, 1600 and 2040 metres, it takes an amazing horse and an amazing training effort by Jamie Richards.
“It’s a big team effort, from David Ellis buying all these lovely horses to all of the great staff involved. I’m just the pilot.”
Melody Belle is now an $11 chance for the Cox Plate at The Valley but connections will consider all options.
The ownership group will meet on Monday afternoon to discuss whether the 2019 Cox Plate is the right fit for the star mare, with Galvin confirming that a number of Group One races would be considered.