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Melody Belle on target for Foxbridge Plate

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The darling of the New Zealand turf is nearing a return to the track after a favourable winter preparation.

Melody Belle, who is all but assured of taking home the title of New Zealand Horse of the Year after winning five Group One races this season, has pleased trainer Jamie Richards with her work and he said she will likely trial at Te Rapa in the coming weeks.

"We are looking forward to next season with her," he said. "She has done well through the winter and she will trial in about ten days at Te Rapa. She will have a couple of trials like she did last year."

The rising five-year-old daughter of Commands is set to take a similar path in the spring as last year, however, the Fortuna Syndicate-raced mare will also tackle the Gr.1 Livamol Classic (2040m) at Hastings.

"If the weather plays havoc she’ll just shoot away for a gallop and then she will head to the Foxbridge (Gr.2, 1200m). We have opted to try and win the triple crown at Hastings with her."

While a tilt at Australia in the spring remains a possibility, her connections are eyeing the All Star Mile (1600m) in autumn.

"We’ll just see how her form is like in the spring, what we would like to do is get her ready for the All Star Mile at Flemington," Richards said.

"She was about to be given a wild card this year, but she had done a fair bit of travelling by that stage of the season.

"I think if we were able to aim her towards Hastings, then possibly Australia if she was going good enough, and then give her a break. Then head to that race (All Star Mile) and maybe Sydney afterwards, that would be a pretty good looking campaign."

Doomben assignment for Cyber Attack

Cambridge trainer Tony Pike has experienced a successful Queensland winter campaign, headlined by The Bostonian’s Group One double, and he is hoping to cap it off in style at Doomben on Saturday.

Stable runner Cyber Attack will contest the QTIS Three-Year-Old Handicap (1350m) after two previous unplaced runs in Australia this preparation and Pike expects a better result on Saturday with the gelding.

"If he brings his best form, he should go close," he said.

"He was a bit tardy out of the barriers last start and lost his spot and ended up in a terrible position.

"Each time he's had to come to the outside after he got too far back. He's better off coming through the field."

Cyber Attack won’t be Pike’s last runner in Australia this winter, with Sacred Day set to contest the Listed Grafton Cup (2350m) next week.

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