Champion Kiwi mare Melody Belle under an injury cloud for Tancred Stakes

Trainer Jamie Richards remains optimistic champion mare Melody Belle will be given the all-clear to line up in the Group 1 $1.5 million Kia Tancred Stakes (2400m) at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.

Melody Belle is being closely monitored by veterinarians after she was found to “tied up” after trackwork on Wednesday morning. This is essentially a build-up of lactic acid in the hind legs.

“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.”

Melody Belle is racing the clock to be ready for Saturday’s Tancred Stakes. Picture: Trish DunellSource:Supplied

Richards said Melody Belle has done all her preparatory training for the Tancred Stakes so provided her blood test results are clear and the mare continues to respond to treatment, she should be able to take her place in the field.

Melody Belle, winner of a New Zealand record 14 Group 1 races, had been joint Tancred favourite until the injury scare and is out to $6.50 while Cox Plate winner Sir Dragonet is now alone at the top of betting at $4.80.

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 (cerise) backs up in the Tancred Stakes from his solid third behind Verry Elleegant and Addeybb in last week’s Ranvet Stakes. Picture: Getty Images for the Australian Turf ClubSource:Getty Images

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.

Originally published asMelody Belle in doubt for Tancred

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