Melody Belle looked every bit the hot favourite to complete the Hawke’s Bay triple crown as she got through her major Livamol Classic gallop at Matamata this morning.

With raceday rider Opie Bosson in the saddle, Melody Belle and stablemate Savy Yong Blonk (T Harris) worked on the course proper, where the going was slow 14 metres out. Melody Belle could hardly have been more impressive, hitting the line full of running after 1200m in 1:21.4, with the last 1000m in 1:07.2 and 600m in 37.

The reigning Horse of the Year is obviously right on her game to become the first horse to claim all three Group Ones at the Hawke’s Bay carnival. Although overshadowed, Savy Yong Blonk still worked well ahead of her Hastings weekend engagement.

Aotea Lad (Bosson) advanced his Hawke’s Bay Guineas claims with an eye-catching gallop in company with Te Akau Dragon (McNab), cutting out 1000m in 1:05.3 and 600m in 37.5. Aotea Lad was short on luck at his last start and even allowing that Catalyst will again be a formidable rival, he is not out of the frame.

Ruakaka trainer Chris Gibbs came through to see his Livamol Classic entry Hello It’s Me, who has been stabled in Matamata since the Windsor Park Plate. Accompanied by the maiden Oh What Fun (Fawcett), Hello It’s Me (Cole) cut out 1200m in 1:20.6, 1:06.4 and 39.5, but in her co-trainer’s opinion the work was not good enough to warrant a start in the Livamol.

“We can’t quite put our finger on it, but she’s just not quite there at this stage,” Gibbs commented. “She can go home and we’ll regroup.”

Hastings first day winner Germanicus (Lammas) suggested another carnival win as he and fellow weekend candidate Sunburst (Coleman) worked in good style. Sunburst set off from the 1200 and picked up Germanicus from the 1000, cutting out the full distance in 1:19.3, with the last 1000m in 1:05.3 and 600m in 38.2.

Watch This Space (Danis) prepared for Hastings with a smart 1000m in 1:06.2 and 38.4, while Meteoric Lass (A Jones) and  Scottish Star (Roustoby) were others to catch the eye in their work over 1000m in 1:06.7 and 38.8. Wild Seas (Grylls) left 1000m behind in 1:07.5, finishing off strongly with 600m in 37.1, while No Finer Pins (Tynan) was timed form the 600m in a smart 36.4.

Tiptronic (Wratten) and Stilton (Singh) were paired over 1200m in 1:21.5, 1:06.8 and 39.6, Joe Cargo (McCall) ran the same distance evenly in 1:19.5 and 39.5, Super Sid (Bosson) and Military Step (McNab) clocked 1:20.9 and 37.6, and Swing Note (Burdan) and Mazzuro (McNab), with early use of the track, took 1:20.4 and 37.7.

Over 1000m Jakkalbomb (Lammas), who is now with Danica Guy, and Show Boat (Coleman) recorded 1:11.6 and 38.5. Holsty (Grylls) ran the same trip in 1:07.8 and 38.4, Voler Pour Moi (Yanagida) took 1:08.2 and 37.1, Prix du Fer (Bosson) and Byzantine (McNab) 1:06.3 and 38.2, Royal Patch (Grylls) 1:08.9 and 38.3, and Striking (J Collett) and Katie Perrie (R Jones) 1:10.2 and 41.5.

Dennis Ryan