Melito could have been racing at Sha Tin instead of Randwick this weekend but trainer Gerald Ryan is happy with the decision to stay home.
Quarantine regulations forced Ryan and owner John Rippon to reconsider the Asian adventure and the mare’s next five runs will be the same as last year, starting with Saturday’s Group One All-Aged Stakes (1400m).
“We’ve got no regrets and unless she shows signs she’s had enough she will go on through the same program as last year,” Ryan said.
“She had seven runs last time and will have nine this time, eight of them Group Ones.
“She is holding her condition – she looks terrific.
“Her weight on Friday was 548 kilos which is the same she has been all along this prep.
“From now on the program will be the All-Aged, the BTC Cup, the Doomben 10,000, the Stradbroke and the Winter Stakes.”
There were 17 entries on Monday for the All-Aged including Hay List, a gallant second to Black Caviar in the TJ Smith Stakes and attempting further than 1200 metres for the first time.
Danleigh, winner of the race in 2009, was also among the nominations but trainer Chris Waller said he was an unlikely starter.
“If he does run, Dwayne Dunn will ride him but it’s likely we will just have Triple Honour and Rangirangdoo,” Waller said.
“Nash Rawiller will ride Rangirangdoo and Jim Cassidy will be on Triple Honour.
“Rangirangdoo is fighting fit but if the ground is as heavy as it was on Saturday, he won’t run.”
Rangirangdoo won the George Ryder Stakes earlier this month after spending almost a year off the scene recovering from injury.
Sister Madly, who finished last in Saturday’s Galaxy on a heavy 10 track, was entered for the All-Aged but trainer Anthony Cummings said she would not run and her racing future would be assessed over the next few days.
Melito ran second to Hot Danish in the All-Aged last year after beating her in the TJ Smith Stakes and they met again when Melito ran third in Hot Danish’s Doomben 10,000 triumph.
Sadly, Hot Danish had to be euthanased on Sunday after losing a battle with infection.
“It is very sad for all concerned with Hot Danish,” Ryan said.
“We had some great battles with her last year.
“It just shows how fragile horses are.”