When it comes to the history books of New Zealand racing, Melody Belle certainly has her name etched in them, being the highest ever Group 1 winning New Zealand trained horse! We caught up with Nicole Shailer, who has cared for Melody Belle on a daily basis for the past few years.
What makes Melody Belle so special?
She has the biggest heart and her will to win is unbelievable.
If you could use three words to describe Melody Belle, what would they be?
The ultimate professional.
If Melody Belle was asked to describe herself in three words, what do you think she’d say?
Champion, comedian, regal.
What is she like around the barn?
She’s super relaxed. She knows her daily routine and goes about it in a very chilled manner.
And on raceday?
She’s the same on race day. She’s there to do a job and gets herself in the zone. She always pumps herself up when she hears the crowd and sees the jockeys - she loves the hype!
Does Melody Belle (or Valerie, as she’s known to those closest to her as) have any quirks?
Oh, she has plenty. She’s always curling her top lip up and is quite the poser when walking to and from the track. She will stop if people are about, almost so they can admire her.
With a record like hers, Melody Belle has every right to be a prima donna! Does she know how good she is?
She sure does! She loves the limelight and definitely doesn’t shy away from the attention. Whether it be owners or trackside cameras, she’s there ready to be filmed, photographed or simply patted. She is a real people’s horse.
How would you describe your bond with Melody Belle?
I’ve been lucky enough to have the privilege of looking after her one on one for the last couple of years now and I know her inside and out. She’s always so relaxed and happy whereas I’m a complete stresser, so our relationship works well! I don’t think there will be a horse that will ever fill the spot she has with me.
Why do you LOVE Melody Belle?
She’s the ultimate racehorse. She loves to win but at the same time you couldn’t get a better horse to have in the stable. She really is a Queen!