Melody Belle and Underthemoonlight looked the part ahead of Saturday’s Gr. 1 Tarzino Trophy when they galloped stylishly at Matamata this morning.
Both mares worked against the rail of the course proper in the five-metre position, where the track was no worse than slow. Pre-post Tarzino favourite Melody Belle was ridden by raceday jockey Shafiq Rusof as she and race rival Our Abbadean (Bosson) cut out 1000m in 1:06.5 and the final 600m in 37.6.
“She’s good, everything has gone to plan since Te Rapa,” trainer Jamie Richards said of the last-start Foxbridge Plate winner. “The other mare is improving, she takes a while to come right this time of year.”
Rival trainer Karyn McQuade was just as satisfied with her Tarzino charge Underthemoonlight after raceday rider Cameron Lammas had taken her through a rousing 1200-metre gallop with Bizzwinkle. The pair eased away from the mark and quickly built momentum to run the distance in 1:16.8, with the last 1000m in an impressive 1:02.5 and 600m ion 36.9.
Underthemoonlight, third in last year’s Tarzino Trophy, hit the line full of running. The Glenn Old-trained Bizzwinkle, who will be ridden in Saturday’s open 1600 by Wiremu Pinn, is bound to be improved by the run.
On the course proper with the markers set at 23 metres, race rival Charles Road (S Weatherley) was paired with his promising half-brother Cavallo Veloce (S McKay) over 1000m in 1:07.2 and 39.7. “He’s come to hand nicely since the Foxbridge Plate and will enjoy the step up in distance,” said co-trainer Lance O’Sullivan.
O’Sullivan was also happy with the work of former Hong Kong galloper Andoyas, who was ridden by Taiki Yanagida in company with Wisdom Patch (Bayliss) over 1000m in 1:07.2 and 39.8. Andoyas has progressed well since his bold fresh-up second earlier in the month and will head to Ruakaka for the Rating 82 1400. Wisdom Patch will be entered for both Ruakaka and Hastings on the weekend, while stablemate Nirvana In Fire is likely to head to Hastings after hitting out boldly over 1000m in 1:06.2 and 40.2.
The Jason Price-trained pair Joe’s Legacy (Lammas) and She’s Prismatic (S McKay) worked against the rail in preparation for Hastings, running a deceptive 1:03.5 and 37.2 over 1000m. Hastings entries Bluetwentytwo (M Jones) and South Fork (R Jones) worked soundly wide out over 1200m in 1:22.8, 1:07.6 and 39.8, while Te Akau Shark (Rusof) and South Island-bound Richard Of York (Bosson) looked comfortable over 1000m in 1:09 and 39.6.