Melito Caps Carnival With Group One Triumph

Winner: Melito (Redoute’s Choice-Cloister)

Race: BRC Winter Stakes G1 (1600m)
Sold for $600,000
Sale: 2008 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale
Vendor: Reavill Farm
Buyer: Gerald Ryan
Earnings: $1,578,050
Owner(s): Reavill Racing Syndicate (Mgr: JT Rippon)
Trainer: Gerald Ryan (Rosehill)

Star filly Melito rounded out her winter campaign in style when she cruised home for a deserved win in the Group One Winter Stakes (1600m) at Eagle Farm today.

After a string of outstanding efforts at racing’s elite level, a second Group One victory for the daughter of Redoute’s Choice was just the reward for connections.

Since beating Hot Danish, Mic Mac and Wanted in the Group One TJ Smith Stakes in April, Melito was second in an All Aged Stakes, BTC Cup and Stradbroke Handicap and third in the Doomben 10,000.

The filly was sent to the front at the start of the race after drawing the outside barrier and from that point the star galloper wouldn’t be headed.

Trainer Gerald Ryan, who declared the filly the best of her generation in the country and the best he’d ever trained, said the barriers dictacted the front running tactics today.

“As soon as the barriers came out on Thursday I thought there’s no speed in the race and her best chance was to be ridden close,” Ryan told AAP.

“I hadn’t spoken to (jockey) Corey Brown until just before the race and he said the same thing.”

Ryan has an exceptionally high opinion of Melito, who he purchased for $600,000 from the Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale.

“Surely she’s done enough to win the Filly of the Year award now.”

“Corey rode her sensationally. You won’t see a better ride,” he said.

Ryan told reporters after the race that the filly will have a lightly two run spring campaign during the Melbourne Spring Carnival.

“She’ll run in either the Schillaci or Moir Stakes and then in the Patinack Farm,” he said.

Brown, celebrating his fifth Group One victory for the season, was all smiles in the winner’s circle.He said the filly had the race won a long way out from home.

“I was hoping Gold Water would lead us so I could take a sit,” Brown said.

“I knew it would take a good horse to beat her and I could hear them clicking up behind us and making runs but she had it won 200 metres out.”

At the post Melito had a three quarter length margin over top class kiwi galloper Wealth Princess, while consistent performer Beaded was another two lengths further back in third place.

The filly’s outstanding race record reads out at four wins and 11 minor placings from just 18 starts and earnings of over $1.5 million.

One of four winners produced by the Debutante Stakes winner Cloister, Melito is a half sister to the stakes performed juvenile Sister Declan.

Cloister, by Marauding, hails from the family of stakes winners including Zeditave, Square Deal, Alannon, Unison, Flying Alpha, Shikoba, Greys Inn, Jet Spur and this year’s Magic Millions Classic winner Military Rose.

PICS – Dan Costello.