Jason Waddell has been named as the rider of Gr. 1 JR & N Berkett Telegraph favourite Melody Belle following the suspensions of Shafiq Rusof and Opie Bosson.

Rusof has been the regular rider for Melody Belle this season, guiding her to Group One victories in the Tarzino Trophy and Windsor Park Plate at Hastings and an unlucky last-start third in the Sistema Railway at Ellerslie.

However, Rusof was suspended for careless riding in that race and was ruled out of the Trentham carnival. Bosson was quickly named as his replacement, but he picked up a suspension for careless riding at Matamata yesterday and will be side-lined until January 20 – the day after the Telegraph.

“Jamie Richards (trainer) and I had a good look at the rider options, Jason is riding in great form and was available, so he is on,” said Fortuna Syndications manager John Galvin.

Melody Belle heads the Telegraph market at $1.90, with Gift Of Power at $8.50 and Bostonian and Hiflyer at $10.