Mon, 02 September 2019
The emphatic win of Melody Belle (NZ) (Commands) in the G1 Tarzino Tropy (1400m) at Hastings on Saturday, secured G1 win number seven for the trophy cabinet and in doing so, she became undoubtedly, the best racehorse to have graced the paddocks at Haunui Farm.
Bred by Marie Leicester, Haunui's longest standing client, Melody Belle was too good for her rivals second-up, coming down the outside of the track to record a dominant vicotry and off the back of that effort, the prospect of an elusive Hawke's Bay Triple Crown - the Tarzino Trophy, the Windsor Park Plate and the Livamol Classic - looks well within her grasp. If you missed it, you can watch the race replay here.
Marie was at Hawke's Bay on Saturday to cheer on the filly with her daughter Maryanne and grandson Sam. "There's nothing like seeing those big wins and although I sold the filly as a yearling, like any breeder I follow her every step,"said Marie. 'The way she won on Saturday reminds me of Star Belle, probably the best racehorse out of the family until Melody Belle came along. She won 18 races in the 1960's and when Melody Belle came to the outside and finished like she did, it just reminded me of her," said Marie.
The story of Star Belle is a funny one in itself with Marie's parents, Jim and Annie Sarten both avid breeders and owners but in their own right. "This particular year, Dad's mare Belle Time foaled a colt, and Mum's mare Belle Rosa, foaled a filly. Mum wanted to get some money back in so, they swapped foals - Mum got her money for the colt at the sales and Dad raced Star Belle!"
Marie will head to the Horse of the Year Awards at Ellerslie with friends and family where Melody Belle will undoubtedly be crowned New Zealand Horse of the Year. Marie says, "It will be an exciting night but I'm just so pleased to see Melody Belle come back and do what she did on Saturday. We all know that sometimes horses don't come up every season but it proves just how good she is."