Melody Belle's spring preparation has not been helped by the Te Teko trials postponement.
The postponement of today’s Te Teko trials has placed Jamie Richards on the back foot in his preparation of Melody Belle for next week’s Lisa Chittick Foxbridge Plate.
The traditional season-opening trial fixture has been postponed to next Monday after heavy and persistent rain in the eastern Bay of Plenty ruled the Te Teko track out.
Richards had intended lining up a large team, and still will on Monday, but Melody Belle won’t be among them. Instead she and several stablemates will travel to Taupo tomorrow for a gallop and a day out, but Richards admits it is not the preparation he had hoped for ahead of the Te Rapa feature.
“A trial at Te Teko was always part of her build-up, but with them now being on Monday that rules Melody Belle out,” Richards said this morning. “Now she’ll have to have a decent hitout at Taupo and hope that her work leading into Te Rapa will have her ready enough.
“There’s no doubt though that she’ll be at a disadvantage against horses like Julius and Close Up who both have the benefit of that run at Te Rapa on the weekend.”
A Foxbridge Plate jockey for Melody Belle has yet to be decided, with first choice rider Opie Bosson yet to confirm that he can make the 56.5 kilos she will carry under weight-for-age conditions.
Another Matamata-trained horse with a Taupo gallop on his agenda this week is Sydney Cup placegetter Charles Road, who has an Australian cups campaign on the horizon.
“He’s coming along well but we’ve just got to get the conditioning into him,” said co-trainer Lance O’Sullivan. “We might even throw in a Foxbridge Plate entry and then make a decision if it looks like the right thing to do.”