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NZ Briefs for 03rd January 2018

Rider change for Melody Belle;Front-running ride pays off for Yonker
Rider change for Melody Belle
Triple Group One winner Melody Belle will renew her partnership with jockey Opie Bosson in the Gr.1 JR & N Berkett Telegraph (1200m) at Trentham later this month.
Regular rider Shafiq Rusof was ruled out of the January 19 meeting after he was suspended for his ride on Melody Belle in the Gr.1 Sistema Railway (1200m) at Ellerslie on New Year’s Day.
The Jamie Richards-trained runner finished a gallant third after being posted three-wide for the entire trip.
“We are disappointed for Shafiq that he has copped a suspension,” Syndicate manager John Galvin said. “But we are very happy to engage Opie, he is unbeaten on Melody Belle when he has ridden her in the past.”
Front-running ride pays off for Yonker
A daring ride from apprentice jockey Tanya Yonker paid dividends for connections of Yamato Nadeshiko at Omakau on Thursday, with the six-year-old mare recording her sixth win in the White Robe Lodge/Fasttrack Clare Memorial Gold Cup (2000m).
The Jackie Burrows-trained runner settled at the rear of the field for Yonker before the young hoop made a mid-race move to take the lead with her charge at the 5 1⁄2 f mark.
The pair looked in control for the remainder of the race, winning by 3-1/2 lengths over Thought that, with Teddytwinkletoes a further long-neck away in third.
“She is an awesome little horse,” Burrows said. “Howie Matthews sent her down (from Otaki) because she wouldn’t jump out of the gates up there.
“I said (to Yonker) don’t be unlucky, make your own luck. At Gore we ended up wide and you just can’t get around at Gore, so it was good today.
“She is my little apprentice and I am proud of her.”

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