News In Brief
Melody Belle Photo: Trish Dunell
Waddell picks up ride on Melody Belle
Jason Waddell has snared the plum ride on star sprinter Melody Belle in Saturday week's Gr.1 JR & N Berkett Telegraph (1200m) at Trentham.
Waddell gained the ride on the $1.90 favourite after Te Akau Racing's stable jockey Opie Bosson was suspended for careless riding at Matamata on Wednesday.
"The old saying goes if you can't beat 'em, join 'em and after getting beaten up by her all spring, I am very grateful to Fortuna and Te Akau Racing for the opportunity to ride their wonderful mare Melody Belle in next week's Telegraph," Waddell said.
Shafiq Rusof had ridden Melody Belle to Group One wins in the Tarzino Trophy (1400m) and Windsor Park Plate (1600m) at Hastings in the spring and her luckless second in the Gr.1 Railway (1200m) at Ellerslie last week but was also unavailable through suspension.
Fortuna Syndications boss John Galvin said: "Jamie Richards and I had a good look at the rider options. Jason is riding in great form and was available, so he is on."
Richards was gutted for Bosson but happy to have Waddell aboard.
"Our stable is a big team and Opie is very much part of that. It's tough not having him on and everyone's pretty upset to be fair. But Jason's a very capable jockey and he's riding very well. We're pleased to have him on."
Bosson's suspension begins after racing at Ellerslie on Sunday and ends after racing at Te Rapa on Sunday week.
Among other rides he misses on Wellington Cup day are Gr.1 Thorndon Mile (1600m) contender Shadows Cast and Gr.3 Desert Gold Stakes (1600m) hopeful Savy Yong Blonk.
He’s Gold collects gold in Reefton
The Daniel Champion and Kezia Murphy-trained He’s Gold made it back-to-back Cups wins on Wednesday when he took out the Reefton Cup (1400m) under a perfect ride from stable apprentice jockey Gee Saejorhor.
He’s Gold, who won the Kurow Cup late last month, punched straight to the lead for Saejorhor from his inside barrier before handing up to Xcuses Xcuses.
Saejorhoor improved his charge down the back straight, retaking the lead at the 600m mark and the son of My Halo ran on to win by a length over Tomm Jones, with Xcuses Xcuses a further 1-1/4 lengths back in third.
“It was a good effort and a nice ride too,” Champion said.
“It couldn’t have gone smoother. I actually told him (Saejorhor) to stay on the rail, but he took initiative and rode him really well.
“It was a ten out of ten ride. It was all his initiative and I just said to him take it in your stride and see how he goes. He came back in saying he was just doing pace work.”
He’s Gold will now be set for his first tilt at stakes company later this month when he contests the Listed Timaru Stakes (1400m) at Riccarton.
“That’s pretty much all that is around for him and he likes Riccarton,” Champion said. “He’s just a genuine fast track horse.”