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Melody Belle in tune in Karaka Million

Opie Bosson has steered Melody Belle to an upset win in the $1 million Karaka Million at Ellerslie, New Zealand’s richest race for two-year-olds.

Although she was paying upwards of $30 on the tote, Melody Belle had the 1200m-race in her control from the top of the straight and held off equal favourite Hasahalo, ridden by Sydney’s Blake Shinn, by 1-1/4 lengths.

Raced by Te Akau Racing and Fortuna Bloodstock, Melody Belle had been stakes placed at her second start but finished eighth in her lead-up race won by Felton Road who finished third on Sunday.

“It was a lovely ride by Opie but illustrates in these big races just how important a good draw (3) can be,” Jamie Richards, who trains in partnership with Stephen Autridge said.

“Last time she drew the outside and we got taken off the track. The blinkers went on this time and she galloped beautifully on Tuesday so we were really happy.”

The other equal favourite Padraig, ridden by Hugh Bowman, finished sixth after getting a long way back early.

The day was still a success for the leading Sydney jockey who rode two winners on the program.

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