Regally-bred filly Sydney bound

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  • January 31, 2023
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A half-sister to 14-time Group One winner Melody Belle is destined to join trainer Annabel Neasham’s Sydney barn after her purchase at Karaka on Monday.

Neasham’s Racing Manager Rob Archibald was caught in a bidding duel with Yulong Investment’s Mr Zhang, who owns Melody Belle, but was able to secure the Pierro filly out of Haunui Farm’s draft with a final bid of $500,000.

Archibald was in discussions with Tim Stakemire over the phone on Monday morning and offered up lot 344 as one of his picks of the sale.

Acting on behalf of Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa al Maktoum, Stakemire instructed Archibald to try and secure the filly.

“We were talking with Tim Stakemire, and his client Sheikh Khalifa, and he asked if there were any nice fillies in the sale,” Archibald said.

“We went through a few numbers and we said we particularly liked this one. She is a half to a champion (Melody Belle) and he liked the look of her. We were on the phone and he decided that was the filly for him.

“We loved her and she was one of the fillies of the sale.

“I thought she was a lovely mover, quite strong, but bred to take a little bit of time. She had good presence on the sale ground. I love her movement and think that will take her a long way.

“I think she is above average on what we have seen, just on a physical. She is one of the better physicals of the Pierros that we have seen.

“Sometimes you get to a sale ground and they just stand out, and she stood out to me.

“It is hard to find pedigrees with that pedigree and whatever she does on the racetrack, she is going to have good residual value if they choose to either breed or sell.

“We loved everything about her and were excited to get her and get her back into the stable in Sydney.”

The stable has been active over the first two days of New Zealand Bloodstock’s Book 1 Yearling Sale and Archibald is excited about the prospects of their purchases.

“We have got six or seven,” he said. “We have come over here trying to find those middle-distance, staying type of fillies.

“There are plenty of nice horses here and we are happy with what we have managed to pick up.

“We think we have found some reasonable value and look forward to getting them back and seeing what they can do in the next year or two.”

Haunui Farm Managing Director Mark Chitty was pleased to get the result for breeder and long-time client Marie Leicester.

“Any horse that you sell for half a million dollars is a great result,” Chitty said.

“The Pierro filly is a lovely filly and was well admired and she is going to a great home and a real emerging trainer in Annabel Neasham.

“I expected that sort of money. These types of fillies are hard to find.”

It was a sentimental result for Chitty given his family’s close association with Leicesters.

“We go all the way back to Annie Sarten, whose daughter Marie Leicester bred the filly. We have looked after their bloodstock for many years,” he said.

“Melody Belle is going to be inducted into the New Zealand Racing Hall Of Fame, it’s been great.

“Mrs Leicester has kept three fillies and Meleka Belle is back in-foal to Savabeel. She has got a Snitzel filly with Mark Walker that is due to come to the track.”

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