Connections of five-time New Zealand Group One winner Melody Belle will not take up any invitation to the $5 million All-Star Mile in Melbourne.
John Galvin, manager of Fortuna Syndications, says he has been approached by Racing Victoria’s Greg Carpenter about a wild card into the race at Flemington on March 16.
“I fielded a call from Greg Carpenter who advised that Melody Belle was in contention for a wild card entry,” Galvin told NZ Racing Desk.
“Trainer Jamie Richards and I had previously discussed our position and we had decided that the All-Star Mile, attractive as it was, was not the right race for our mare at this time.
“To travel to Australia to take on their best milers in this event, when already deep into a campaign that commenced last August, was not in the best interests of Melody Belle we had decided.”
The most recent of Melody Belle’s five Group One wins came in Saturday’s Haunui Farm Classic (1600m).
Galvin said they would stick to the program with the mare next scheduled to be tested over 2000m in the New Zealand Stakes.
“She has yet to contest a race over the 2000 metre distance,” Galvin said.
“Given her performance in the Haunui, trainer Jamie Richards and rider Opie Bosson hold the view that 2000 metres will hold no fear for her.
“This race presents as an ideal opportunity for her final race of the 2018/19 season.”
Melody Belle won the 2017 Group Two Sires’ Produce Stakes in Brisbane but was unplaced in two Sydney starts in the autumn of 2018 including the Surround Stakes won by Shoals.