Melody Belle and Avantage looked sharp for their weekend engagements when they galloped stylishly at Matamata this morning.

Working right-handed 15 metres on the heavy course proper, Melody Belle and Avantage were ridden by their respective raceday jockeys Michael McNab and Sam Weatherly as they strode off from the 1200m mark. They proved to be well matched as they cut out the distance in 1:27.2, building momentum along the way to record a smart 37.8 for their final 600m.

Melody Belle has improved noticeably from her Foxbridge Plate outing and looks ready to defend her Tarzino Trophy title at Hastings on Saturday. After two preparatory trials, stablemate Avantage is well forward to kick off her four-year-old campaign in the open sprint at Ruakaka.

Tarzino Trophy candidate Sleeping Beauty (C Grylls) did pleasing work on the sand, where she galloped comfortably over 1000m in 1:04.3 and 37.2. After being a star of early winter racing, she is in good order ahead of her Group One assignment.

Other Hastings entries to impress on the sand included Amarula (S Weatherly) and Langkawi (S McKay), who reeled off 1000m in 1:04 and 36.3, and stablemate Sagunto (S McKay) who completed solo work in style over 1000m in 1:05.2 and 35.8.

Last-start winner Azabeat (C Grylls) prepared for Hastings with Ruakaka entry Nothing Trivial (Danis) over 1200m in 1:18.8, 1:04.2 and 37.2.

Back on the course proper, Sunny Rose (Coleman) and Kurt (S Collett) did sound work ahead of Hastings over 1200m in 1:29.5 and 39.2. Another pair from the Stephen Autridge team, Nothing Compares (S Collett) and Karalino (Coleman), ran the same distance in 1:28.5 and 40.4.

Others to work over 1200m included Lily D’Or (Mansour), who returns to the scene of her Hastings debut win, in 1:27.6 and 39.3, Wisdom Patch (C Grylls) in 1:28.6 and 38.6, Seductress (Coleman) 1:28.9 and 40.5, and In A Twinkling (Burdan) and Byzantine (Bosson) 1:32.6 and 39.8.

Of those to hit out over less ground, Maison Roxanne (Ritchie) impressed with her final 600m in 37.9, as did Burgundy Belle (Bosson) and Savy Yong Blank (T Harris) in 37.8, Rukuhia (Fawcett) and Showboat (McCall) 39.1, and Material Lass (McNab) and Remington (Bosson) 39.4.

Equinox (Bosson) and Shoshone (Lammas) worked left-handed on the course proper against the rail at five metres, recording 50.2 for 800m and a smart 36.6 for the final section.

Back on the sand Depends On Situation (Mansour) strode over 1200m in 1:21.6, 1:06.8 and 39.6. Jakkalbomb (Lammas) was timed over 1000m in 1:10.8 and 40.9, while Kipchoge (Coleman) strolled around in 1:15.2 and 44.6.

Joe’s Legacy (Bosson) did tidy work over his last 800m in 54.8 and 39.2, and Princess Kereru (Coleman) was kept to 1000m in 1:16.7 and 45.2.

Dennis Ryan