3 minute read
Racing NSW vets have cleared champion New Zealand mare Melody Belle to tackle the Tancred Stakes on Saturday following a race-week setback.
Kiwi star Melody Belle will take her place in the $1.5 million Tancred Stakes at Rosehill on Saturday after receiving a vet clearance on Friday morning.
The Jamie Richards-trained mare was found to have "tied up" after trackwork on Wednesday morning.
"It's not ideal for this to happen in the week of a big race," Richards said.
"Her work on Wednesday morning was outstanding, James (McDonald) was very happy with her but it was apparent after the gallop that she had this issue.
"We have had episodes like this with her before and we know what we need to do to get her right."
Racing NSW stewards revealed their Veterinary Dr Toby Koenig had reviewed the results of a blood test taken from Melody Belle which showed "significant improvement" and cleared the star mare to run.
Richards told stewards "the mare had responded well to treatment and has been exercised by swimming since Wednesday without displaying any signs of tying up".
Dr Koenig passed Melody Belle "suitable to race" in the Tancred Stakes where TAB Fixed Odds have the 14 time Group 1 winner listed as a $6 second favourite behind Cox Plate winner Sir Dragonet ($5).
Despite the concerns Richards had been optimistic Melody Belle would be given the all-clear to line up in the Group 1 $1.5 million Kia Tancred Stakes (2400m) at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.
Earlier Richards said Melody Belle had done all her preparatory training for the Tancred Stakes and provided her blood test results were clear (which they were) and the mare continued to respond to treatment, she would be able to take her place in the field.
Form guru Gary Crispe of Racing And Sports said Melody Belle comes off an impressive 112 Timeform rating winning the Bonecrusher Stakes at Ellerslie last start but is wary of her Tancred chances in light of her training setback plus the concerns about her staying a strong 2400m and lack of success in this country.
"She has always been a high-quality miler who stays 2000m and ultimately, she is two from 13 in Australia which, added to her distance doubt, makes her easy enough to pass on here," Crispe said.
Angel Of Truth, trained by Team Hawkes, has emerged as one of the main chances in an open Tancred Stakes after his outstanding effort to beat all Verry Elleegant and Addeybb in the Ranvet Stakes last week.
Crispe said Angel Of Truth seems to have worked his way back into the form that won him the ATC Australian Derby two years ago.
"Angel Of Truth hasn't won since the Derby, where he backed up from winning the Tulloch Stakes the week before," Crispe said.
"He ran to a Timeform rating of 120 in the Derby and he matched that figure in the Ranvet last Saturday.
"John Hawkes has put the saddle on a record five winners of the Tancred (one in partnership with his sons, Wayne and Michael) and he has a great chance of making that six with Angel Of Truth."
Crispe nominated Sir Dragonet and The Metropolitan winner Mirage Dancer as the hardest to beat.
Online article taken from The Chronicle.