Cheveley Stud’s well performed and promising young Redoute’s Choice sire Wylie Hall gained further gloss to his impressive female line following Sunday’s New Zealand awards ceremony held at Ellerslie racecourse.
Not only was Wylie Hall’s close relative Melody Belle, a recent winner of the G1 Tarzino Trophy, named New Zealand’s Horse Of The Year for 2018-2019, but another member of this illustrious family, Yourdeel, was named New Zealand’s Champion 2YO Old for the past season.
With a sensational five Group 1 victories to her name during the 2018-19 season, superstar Karaka graduate Melody Belle (NZ) (Commands) was a runaway winner of the New Zealand Horse of the Year title at Sunday night’s awards ceremony at Ellerslie Racecourse.
Bought by Te Akau Racing principal David Ellis for $57,500 at the 2016 Premier Sale, Melody Belle made an immediate impact with brilliant victories in the Karaka Million (1200m) and Group 1 Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) as a two-year-old.
But she went to a new level during her four-year-old campaign in 2018-19, winning the Group 1 Tarzino Trophy (1400m), Windsor Park Plate (1600m), BCD Group Sprint (1400m), Haunui Farm WFA Classic (1600m) and Bonecrusher New Zealand Stakes (2000m).
From 61 votes cast in Horse of the Year voting, Melody Belle received 59.
The Jamie Richards-trained mare won six of her eight starts during the 2018-19 season and earned $701,500 for owners the Fortuna Melody Belle Syndicate. Overall, Melody Belle has had 22 starts in her career for 12 wins, seven of them at Group 1 level. She has earned $1.75 million – more than 30 times her purchase price.
Melody Belle’s spectacular 2018-19 season also earned her the award of Champion Sprinter-Miler.
Like Wylie Hall, Melody Belle (by Commands) is a direct descendant of the influential mare Belle Time.
The latter is also the ancestress of Yourdeel, New Zealand’s Champion 2YO Old of 2018-2019. A son of Dundeel, Yourdeel won four of six starts last season including both the G1 Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes and the Sistema Stakes, and the gelding will now continue his career in Hong Kong.