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Image: Darren Winningham
The New Zealand TAB has paid out on champion Melody Belle to win the Hastings Group One triple crown

The New Zealand TAB has paid out on champion Melody Belle to win the Hastings Group One triple crown before the final leg has been run.

Melody Belle is the short-priced favourite to add Saturday’s Livamol Classic (2040m) to her wins in the Tarzino Trophy and Windsor Park Plate.

If she is successful, she will be the first horse to win all three races.

TAB bookmaker Thad Taylor said the wagering organisation would pay out all Triple Crown bets ahead of time.

“The way the Livamol final field has shaped up with Melody Belle opening at $1.25, supporters who believed from the start that she could take out the Triple Crown shouldn’t have to wait for their winnings,” he said.

Taylor said there were hundreds of customers who bet on the option with plenty getting on before the first leg when she drifted to between $12 and $18.

“The biggest bet in the book was $1000 at $3.80 which came in after her win in the first leg and there were plenty of punters who got on prior to the first leg including one punter who laid down $500 at $14 to return $7000 and another who had $500 on at the $9 opening quote,” Taylor said.

He said account customers had been paid and bets placed in stores could now be cashed in as winners.

Melody Belle has drawn barrier two in the Livamol and has opened at $1.25.

Trainer Jamie Richards said she had done well since her last win and maintained her fitness levels.

 
*Existing customers only. 2nd Racing bet. Excl SA & WA. T’s & C’s apply. Gamble responsibly.
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