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Melody Belle will end her racing career with a familiar face on her back.
With the trans-Tasman travel bubble coming into effect last Monday, Kiwi hoop Opie Bosson will be able to travel to Queensland over the next month to reunite with New Zealand’s darling of the turf for her final two races.
Bosson has had a strong association with the mare, having won nine of their 13 starts together.
The pairing remains unbeaten in Queensland, having won the Group 2 Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) at Eagle Farm four years ago. They will get their chance to extend that record in the Group 2 Hollindale Stakes (1800m) at Gold Coast Racecourse on May 8, and the Group 1 Doomben Cup (2000m) a fortnight later.
“Opie is pretty excited to be aboard,” Fortuna Syndicate Manager John Galvin told SENTrack.
“In the Tancred Stakes (Group 1, 2400m), when James McDonald rode her, we didn’t have a (trans-Tasman travel) bubble in place, and therefore Opie was unable to travel.
“With that opening up it meant that he came into the frame.”
Galvin has received positive reports from trainer Jamie Richards following Melody Belle’s sixth-placed run in the Tancred and he said she is set to trial next week ahead of her Queensland campaign.
“She is heading towards a trial at Rosehill next Tuesday, so we are looking forward to that. She hasn’t missed a beat with her work,” Galvin said.
“She has had none of those tying up issues that she had prior to the Tancred. She will stay at Randwick after her trial and she will do her final track gallop there on the Tuesday ahead of the Hollindale Stakes.
“She is really happy at Randwick. Ashley (Handley, travelling foreman) is there looking after her, so we don’t see it as an issue.
“We are quite comfortable that is the best place for her to be, in her box at Randwick, working there and then travelling two or three days before she races at the Gold Coast.
“She will be stabled at the Gold Coast for the two weeks leading up to the Doomben Cup.”
Galvin is looking forward to taking advantage of the travel bubble himself to watch his pride and joy compete in the flesh next month.
“Jessica (wife) and I booked the day the bubble was announced,” he said. “At this stage, 15 of her ownership group have committed to coming to the Doomben Cup and a lesser number to the Hollindale.”